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Overview
The enactment of the Environment Management Act of Fiji (EMA) in 2005 has resulted in the establishment of Environment Management Units (EMUs) an approving line agency such as the Mineral Resources Department (MRD) and the Department of Environment (DoE) to regulate the relevant statutes and policies. MRD, its recognition began in the late 1990s where the Mines Division advocated for the inclusion of environmental monitoring in the regulatory framework of exploration, mining and quarrying. This has resulted in the department’s contribution to the development of EMA, related regulations and policies and its role has currently evolved to include a more expansive scope of work to reflect the need for sustainability in all state land, foreshore and the mineral sector developments. It has also elevated the role of the MRD Environment Unit to the Environment Division for the Ministry.

Role
The division has a regulatory role in ensuring the mining, mineral exploration, quarrying, groundwater development, foreshore development and state leases are in compliance with the Mining Act (1978), Quarries Act (1978), Crown Land Act  Cap 132, Rivers and Streams Act Cap 136 and Environmental Management Act (2005). In addition environmental condition that is binding in agreement and approved will be monitored by the section.

EIA Review

  • The Environment Management Act (EMA 2005) requires any proponent for a development proposed needs to apply to the approving authority for screening of the proposal.
  • To determine whether the proposed activity is likely to cause significant environmental or resource management impact.
  • The screening fees ($250) half are paid to DoE and half to the approving authority for the development when application is submitted
  • Officer receives referrals for EIA reviews from the Principal Mines Engineer (PEM), Director Mines (DM) or the Director Mineral Development (DMD).
  • Referrals from the Department of Environment (DOE) are also received by the environment division
  • Requests are made to the relevant agencies for an integrated screening/scoping inspection (inspection team) such Department of Environment (DoE), Lands and Water Resources Management Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department and Lands Department and etc.
  • Submits the review report including conditions of the TOR and decisions to the relevant officer and Department  of Environment.