Ministry warns against illegal development

April 24, 2024 6:46 am

The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources has clarified that it is illegal to carry out development on any private land or foreshore without approval or permit.

This follows concerns raised by residents of Nasekawa estate in Wailevu, Savusavu, about the mangrove cutting and swampy development happening on a private property within the estate.

Minister Filimoni Vosarogo says for any foreshore development, proper application and approval are needed.

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“If people don’t apply, and even though they own the dry land, they have no right whatsoever to build into the high watermark going into the sea. Nobody has any right in Fiji except through the state mechanism where the Director of Lands gives you authority to do so. So whoever it is that is doing the development and times innocently says, Oh, I own the dry land so I can dig a little bit to the sea and put some dirt on it and build something on it that’s still illegal even though you own the dry land.”

Nasikawa estate resident and environmental activist, Alessandro Rossi, says seeing the environmental impact along the Wailevu coast is frustrating.

He says that everything that is happening at Nasikawa Estate is happening under the excuse that it’s a private lot and does not need an EPA.

He claims that cutting down mangroves and digging foreshore in any community like Nasekawa should not be taken lightly, and he also raises questions to all relevant authorities about issuing approval.

Questions sent to the Ministry of Environment regarding the EPA and approval notices remain unanswered.

FBC News has also sent questions to the property owner.