FELA WELCOME legal intern from the university of new brunswick, canada
FELA attended a 2 day workshop hosted by the US Embassy on Effective Digital and Social Media Strategies for Non Profits Organisations. The workshop was conducted by the Communications Specialist from the University of Illinois, Chicago, Mr Richard O’Rourke.
The workshop was also attended by communications and public relations officers from other NGOs and Government Departments determined to learn how to better utilize various communications tools and social media to attain communications goals.
FELA WELCOME SENIOR ENVIRONMENT LAWYER
The Fiji Environmental Law Association in collaboration with the US Embassy, Suva hosted the FELA Social Function with guest speakers from Mulberry Partners.Betsy Polk and Maggie Ellis Chotus were in Fiji under the US Embassy, Specialist Speaker Program. Our guest speakers presented on “Power Through Partnership: How Women Lead Better Together”. FELA would like to thank Besty and Maggie for their presentation and for making the time to speak at our Social Function.
The primary purpose of the Environmental Law Association (FELA) is to promote the sustainable management of natural resources through law. FELA was formed with the support and assistance of the Oceania Office of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a result of concerns that many in the legal community had about the apparent lack of general awareness on issues pertaining to the environment. Despite Fiji having a wide range of environmental laws, it was generally accepted that many were neither effectively implemented nor enforced. FELA seeks to remedy this shortcoming.
Participants at the legal awareness on EMA and the EIA process training were invited to participate in the University of the South Pacific - Institute of Applied Science Mangrove Rehabilitation Project led by Project Team Leader Mr. Apisai Bogiva.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to complete my first legal internship at the Fiji Environmental Law Association (FELA).
After completing my Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies and Sociology at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, I was certain that I wanted a career that would allow me to travel and experience different cultures.
I went on to complete a Bachelor of Laws Degree at the University of the West Indies, in Trinidad, where I developed an interest in Public International Law, the Law of Human Rights and Environmental Law.
I returned to Canada, and I am currently pursuing a Juris Doctor of Law Degree at the University of New Brunswick. Through my university, I was awarded the QES Scholarship and funded to complete a summer internship in a commonwealth country. I chose the Fiji Islands out of a long list of developing countries.
I was very interested in the Pacific Region, particularly, because I grew up on a Caribbean Island, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn about another island state that may face similar developmental challenges. Also, I am now based in Canada and I was confident that Fiji would offer an interesting contrast from North American society.
When I learned of the work that FELA was involved in, I was delighted when this NGO decided to take me on as an intern because I was determined to do legal work that felt meaningful.
FELA is a small size association located in Suva. All of FELA’s projects and work is designed to protect the environment and promote the sustainable management of natural resources in Fiji, through law. My work primarily involves research and writing on ocean management policy. Fisheries and marine resources are particularly important in an island state such as Fiji, for sustaining the livelihood of a largely coastal population and for the nation’s economy.
It’s great to be here, I look forward to learning and contributing to FELA as much as I can!
WHALE HUNT IN OUR WATERS
JAPAN'S decision to send a whaling fleet into the Pacific for "scientific research" faces strong opposition in the region. Whale advocates in the Pacific, including Fiji, said the move was not justified after a court ruling by the International Court of Justice last month banned the Japanese fleets from whaling off Antarctica because Japan was whaling commercially, not for scientific reasons as it had previously claimed.
Promoting Sustainable Resource Management and the Protection of Fiji's Environment Through Law
Fiji Environmental Law Association
The Fiji Environmental Law Association welcomes its new member of the team, Ms Patricia Parkinson. Patricia joins FELA as a part of the Australian Volunteer for International Development (AVID) Program. She is a French-Australian environmental law specialist with a wealth of experience, having previously worked with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a senior environmental legal officer. She will be based with FELA for a year where she will focus on building staff capacity. Patricia is a valuable addition to FELA and we look forward to working with her.
Representatives from the Department of Fisheries, Ra Provincial Council, Police, Yaubula Committee Groups, Women's and Youth Groups, (Youth) and Fish Wardens attended the workshop that was designed (to help read and understand the Fisheries Act 1942, Endangered and Protected Species Act 2002 and their regulations to improve enforcement. ) to foster better understanding of Fiji's Fisheries laws and regulations in order to improve its enforcement.
The 3 day workshop entailed interactive presentations (by the Department of Fisheries and FELA, presentations by the participants of various groups and )that included participant role plays on various scenarios of Fisheries enforcement.(Enforcing the law in the event of an infringement and the roles and powers of the various enforcement authorities)
The Fiji Environmental Law Association in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific - Institute of Applied Science (team) conducted a 3 day training on Fiji's Environment Management Act (EMA) with particular focus on the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and gravel extraction.
Representatives from Government Departments including Department of Environment, Fisheries, Police, Rural Local Authority, Provincial Office, Community chiefs and leaders, women and youth attended the training that was designed to create legal awareness on EMA and the EIA process
School students and teachers from various Primary Schools in Suva participated in the FELA Primary School Outreach Program on Protecting Fiji’s Sea Turtles.
Sea Turtles are listed as “Critically Endangered Species” under the Convention on the International Trade of Wild Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES). The survival of the species is dependent on the awareness of our future leaders and stewards.
Guest speaker, Ms Jacqueline Nalomaca from the Department of Fisheries presented on the life cycle of the different species of Sea Turtles and the threats that Sea Turtles face throughout their lifespan that is contributing to its’ rapid depletion as she shared her personal experiences working with Sea Turtles around the country.
The Fiji Environmental Law Association in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific - Institute of Applied Science (team) conducted a 3 day Fisheries Workshop at Vitawa Village in Rakiraki under the Ra Integrated Coastal Management Project.
The University of the South Pacific—Institute of Applied Science (IAS) Team led by Mr Apisai were in Rakiraki undergoing a Mangrove Rehabilitation Project. The Environmental Law Association were invited to participate in the mangrove planting following the first day of the Fisheries Training Workshop in Vitawa Village, Rakiraki.
The IAS project team planted over two thousand mangrove seedlings in Narewa Village and continues to rehabilitate mangroves throughout the area.
and its relevance to development activities, particularly gravel extraction and mining, clarify the roles and responsibilities of the authorized agencies and enforcement officers in the EIA process, create awareness on compliance procedures of EMA and the EIA process and practical application and understanding of the process through site visitation to existing development projects.
The 3 day workshop entailed interactive presentations (by the Department of Environment, Ra Provincial Council, Forest, Ra Rural Local Authority, FELA and presentations by the participants of various groups. The training also entailed a site visit to the Golden Point Resort, a recently approved coastal development i.e. hotel featuring dramatic changes to the coastal area, removal of mangroves and building of artificial features including trenches and man-made lagoon. Participants were given the opportunity to raise questions to the managing director on the EIA process, length of time taken to receive approvals, qoliqoli compensation and access to fishing areas post compensation.
FELA launched its first publication of the Turtle Enforcement Toolkit titled, “Saving Sea Turtles: A Guide for Law Enforcement" on the 28th of August at the Holiday Inn, Suva.
The Turtle Enforcement Toolkit is designed to improve enforcement of Turtle breaches in Fiji. Designed to give its readers a simple and clear outline of the laws in place regarding sea turtles, the enforcement authorities protecting the species and tips for enforcement authorities with regards to dealing with infringements. The Enforcement Guide introduces its readers to 2 main domestic laws in Fiji protecting turtles and identifies all the criminal offences, provides tips for investigation, defines roles of enforcement officers and their responsibilities.
This exciting event was well attended by members of the Department of Fisheries, the Acting Commissioner of Police, Representative of the DPP members of various NGOs and members of the Public.
The Turtle Enforcement Toolkit is currently being translated in the iTaukei language .and Copies of the English and iTaukei versions will be is available for purchase at the USP Book Center and FELA Office shortly.