No approval given for World Wave Project

October 31, 2021 4:45 pm

The Department of Environment has not approved any plans or projects to demolish reefs.

This is including the World Wave Project, off the island of Qamea in Taveuni.

Minister, Dr Mahendra Reddy, confirms that although the Department is aware of the proposed development, it is yet to receive any Environmental Impact Assessment Report regarding the project.

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Doctor Reddy also stated no plans for the construction of the project will be allowed until a rigorous EIA is conducted to ensure there is no degradation of the vital oceanic ecosystems of Taveuni.

Doctor Reddy highlights Fiji has robust legislations including the Environment Management Act 2005 that protect every development activity undertaken from adverse environmental impacts.

This includes any form of development in and around the coral reefs in Fiji.

In addition, The Department of Environment possesses various legislated instruments like the EIA process under the Act that will assess every development activity in Fiji including the World Wave Project.

Dr Reddy adds the Ministry also has specific policies in place like the Reef Protection Policy that is being actively implemented.

The Ministry is unable to comment any further until the EIA report is reviewed and thoroughly assessed, other than to mention that the proposed development will be put through a rigorous assessment process which includes the project meeting all Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) requirements.

This assessment process also includes extensive community consultations with all stakeholder groups.

The Department will also subject the EIA reports to a thorough review and investigation both with internal and external experts before a decision is made.
Doctor Reddy says any questions and or concerns raised will be answered after the above-mentioned punctilious process is concluded.

Fiji actively champions the protection and the restoration of coral reefs from the threats posed by both climate change and all impacts from human activity.

In 2018, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the International Year of the Reef, at the Great Sea Reef island of Nukubati (Qoliqoli cokovata) and declared it a “Ramsar site” under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.