Pacific Network on Globalization via Loop PNG
The Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee (TNLC) today called on the Honorable Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to intervene in the ongoing dispute regarding exploration for minerals in the province of Namosi.
The call on the Prime Minister to intervene in the Namosi mining issue comes after7 years of considered negotiations between majority landowner interests, the mining company Namosi Joint Ventures (NJV) and the Department of Mineral Resources.
TNLC Co-Chair, Mr. Agavito Koroimanono today confirmed that they have offered to help the Fiji Government deliver it’s green growth strategy through the promotion of eco-tourism to take advantage of the natural beauty of Namosi such as camping, mountain villas, bird watching, cable cars for sightseeing of natural forest, famous bilibili ride from Namosi down to Nausori as well as mountain climbing. In addition to undertake Government sponsored sustainable agricultural projects, and underground water bottling.
The offer to contribute to Fiji’s economic growth however does not include mining or sustainable mining said Co-Chair Agavito.
The call for the Prime Minister to intervene comes after the recent decision to renew SPL 1420 issued by the Minister for Mineral Resources Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa. She had renewed the extension for the exploration license 1420 without the knowledge nor the consent of the majority of the landowners of Namosi in what the TNLC is calling a serious breach of trust in ongoing negotiations.
“This is especially when the Honorable Minister has promised TNLC to inform them with the result of the consultation done by her Ministry which she has failed miserably to do,” Mr. Agavito said.
“TNLC have consistently demonstrated their good faith in negotiations with the respective department and the Minister responsible for mining by conducting extensive consultations and a secret vote to determine whether the extension for the exploration license should be terminated or granted. The outcome of the secret vote within the Namosi Tikina, Tikina Wainikoroiluva and Tikina Waidina demonstrates an overwhelming support where 92% of the people voted for termination of the exploration license which the Minister responsible has chosen to ignore in her decision making process, said TNLC Co-Chair Agavito Koroimanono.
The majority decision for the termination of the exploration license comes after 47 years of history of experiencing the ill effects of exploration amongst the people of Namosi which TNLC have informed PM about back in 2012. We have experienced firsthand what exploration for minerals means for our water systems, our livelihoods, our environment, and our culture, he said.
It is this experience which drives the majority of the people in Namosi through TNLC to stand up and support other forms of productive economic activities such as eco-tourism and agriculture to contribute towards Fiji’s economic growth.
TNLC believes that the GREEN ECNOMY is the world most important part in its ecosystem and without it the world plus man would collapse anytime. Engaging with sustainable development is another way of supporting the Government approach of preventing climate change, Mr. Agavito said.
Mr. Agavito stressed that TNLC value creation as it was the beginning of life. We believe and support that everything created was created for a special reason. Man should search for this only special reason in order to harmonize the purpose of why the Creator created it, he highlighted.