Units For­ward Cases To DPP

Fiji Sun - - Nation - FONUA TALEI Edited by Percy Kean fonua.talei@fi­jisun.com.fj

Within the last eight to ten months, eight cases have been for­warded to the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions (DPP) by the En­vi­ron­ment Im­pact As­sess­ment Unit.

Dur­ing the same pe­riod the Waste and Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Unit un­der the Min­istry of Wa­ter­ways and En­vi­ron­ment has also for­warded three cases to the DPP.

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for En­vi­ron­ment Joshua Wy­cliffe re­vealed this say­ing that Fiji was go­ing places in terms of en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness and pro­tec­tion.

He said through the var­i­ous ex­er­cises that the min­istry en­gaged in they were also raising aware­ness for peo­ple to take note that when a per­son broke the law they were li­able to face the le­gal mea­sures that fol­lowed.

“Aware­ness is ris­ing, but re­spon­si­bil­ity also in­creases with the pub­lic for them to follow up and make sure that they keep to the law and follow the law,” Mr Wy­cliffe said.

“In terms of stop work and pro­hi­bi­tion no­tices is­sued by the min­istry the waste and pol­lu­tion con­trol unit has is­sued 18 no­tices within eight to ten months and the EIA unit has is­sued 26. “The de­part­ment is strength­en­ing its com­pli­ance re­quire­ments and mon­i­tor­ing and how we go about it and ap­ply the En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Act closely to ad­here to all the pro­cesses and busi­nesses and de­vel­op­ments that go around,” he said.

“Pri­mar­ily it will be three ar­eas. They would be en­vi­ron­ment im­pact as­sess­ment, waste man­age­ment and the third will be ozone de­ple­tion sub­stances.” He said most cases they dealt with fell un­der the cat­e­gory of EIA as well as waste man­age­ment. “Two pro­cesses work hand in hand, one is com­pli­ance and the other one is aware­ness cre­ation,” Mr Wy­cliffe said.

“We have sev­eral com­pli­ance mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems from staff in­spec­tors who go there and our un­der­stand­ing with other agen­cies who have their staff and in­spec­tors on the ground as well.”

He said the min­istry re­lied on mem­bers of the pub­lic to alert them of al­leged breaches.

They will then follow up by con­duct­ing in­spec­tions to es­tab­lish whether there is a breach or not, with proof. “The lat­est of what we have is we have ac­quired the drone tech­nol­ogy for the min­istry,” Mr Wy­cliffe said.

“It will also start mon­i­tor­ing and en­sur­ing com­pli­ance then re­port back to the min­istry to de­ter­mine, which ar­eas are be­ing breached and ac­cord­ingly we are able to take puni­tive mea­sures in con­trol­ling the breach ar­eas.”

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