No proposal calling for the demolition of our reefs will be approved by the Govt – PM

No proposal calling for the demolition of our reefs will be approved by the Govt – PM

By Semi Turaga
Friday 24/12/2021
[Photo: file]

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says no proposal calling for the demolition of our reefs will be approved by the Government.

In a tweet, Bainimarama says as they said in Parliament, they haven't received concrete plans for the Taveuni “World Wave” project.

In September, chiefs of the Vanua of Wainikeli wrote to Bainimarama with concerns over the proposed development saying the reefs have provided food and protection for their ancestors and the current generation.

The chiefs said they want to sustain food supply for generations to come.

Turaga ni Yavusa Wainikeli Ratu Talemo Ratakele, Turaga ni Yavusa Korovatu Iosefo Tikoisolome, Turaga ni Yavusa Vidawa Penijamini Lawanikula, Turaga ni Yavusa Lekutu Atonio Apole and Turaga ni Yavusa Naisaqi Eroni Vuniivi had signed the letter sent to the Prime Minister.

The proposed World Wave Project designs new seabed profiles to create new surf breaks.

On the project in Qamea, the World Wave Project says re-shaping is proposed in the shallow areas of the reef and following the outcomes of the independent ecological investigations, the sites selected have very little marine life.

They say the project first identified eleven potential sites based on location and exposure to waves.

The World Wave Project further says that following more detailed investigations these were narrowed to five potential sites. They say the aim is to disturb as little marine life as possible.

World Wave Project adds a key component of the investigations has focused on identifying suitable sites that are of relatively low ecological value and the overarching vision is to undertake all activities sustainably.

The Environmental Impact Assessment is currently being completed by independent consultants.

Permanent Secretary for Environment Joshua Wycliffe has told Legend FM News that no form of approvals at any stage of the project has been given by the Department of Environment for the proposed World Wave Project in Qamea, Taveuni, and proper consultations and independent assessments will be carried out by the Department before any decision is made.

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