Serafina Silaitoga | Fiji Times
THE Bua Urban Youth Network has called for wider consultations for the proposed bauxite mine in Wainunu, Bua.
In a press release, the group, which consists of young professionals with blood ties to Bua, stated that for any development to be sustainable, it must be people-centred.
The release added the need for development that was focused and driven by the people, where all members of the community were meaningfully involved in all stages from consultation, negotiation to monitoring stage.
“We call on Government to abide by the principle of free, prior and informed consent when approaching and negotiating with landowners for the use of their natural resources for large-scale extraction such as bauxite mining,” it said.
“The iTaukei Affairs Board has consistently advocated for FPIC in radio programs and its public consultations since mid 2014 and the network hopes it does so to genuinely empower landowners and not merely paying lip service.
“Providing landowners with the necessary information will ensure their consent is informed and that they are well prepared for the impacts of the proposed mining project in their communities.”
The group said through wider consultations, the landowners and surrounding communities would be able to negotiate the best possible returns.