Fiji: Committee to look into mining issues

New committee is a response to community activism and its sounds good – but its role is to inform the people. raise awareness, hear their concerns… and make sure the mine goes ahead!

This is just government greenwashing and the people of Bua are unlikely to be fooled…

Serafina Silaitoga | The Fiji Times

A COMMITTEE has been set up to look into issues related to proposed bauxite mining at Wainunu in Bua.

Tui Wainunu Ratu Orisi Baleitavea confirmed the committee would consist of senior government officials and traditional leaders.

Known as the Wainunu Development Board, Ratu Orisi said the major role of the committee was to ensure the people of Wainunu were well informed of the proposed plan.

“We have major stakeholders as part of the board and they will raise awareness in villages about the bauxite mining, the good, the bad, the purpose of the development and the foundation of developments we prepare now for our future generation,” he said.

“But our priority is ensuring that our people’s voices are still recognised through this board and we will ensure they are happy about the proposed plan.

“That is our priority and in forming this board, we also want to assure our oppositions that the voices and concerns of our people will be heard.”

Ratu Orisi said they were aware of the concerns rasied by the Bua urban youth network.

“They are part of us and of course we will take into account their concerns and the work we have already done with civil societies in saving our natural resources,” he said.

“Protecting the environment is also part of the awareness.

“We want to be sure that all villagers of Wainunu express their concerns and views as part of this awareness stage.

“That is very important.

“It is also important to note that development happens like supplying electricity to rural areas and water.”

Ratu Orisi said bauxite had been around for long.

“It’s been happening in other parts of the world and is not new so we want to ensure that our people and surrounding villages would also see the benefits of development as part of the awareness program.”

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Filed under Fiji, Human rights

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