Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be foreign substances or energies, or naturally occurring; when naturally occurring, they are considered contaminants when they exceed natural levels. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollutionAccording to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Findings, the episode of species extinction is at its greatest compared to the past 65 million years. This mass extinction is mainly due to humankind’s unsustainable methods of production and consumption which results in pollution of our environment. The theme for this year’s environment week is ‘STOP POLLUTION – SAVE OUR PLANTS AND ANIMALS’. Therefore achieving environmental sustainability is an important priority for the Government of Fiji. This is in line with the 7th Millennium Development Goal which provides a framework for integrating the principles of sustainable development into national policies, ensuring availability of safe drinking water, improving sanitation, and reducing other social ills such as poverty and unemployment. The Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, in partnership with other government and non-government organizations, institutions, donor agencies, and communities has implemented various environment programmes throughout Fiji in relation to waste and pollution control and management. These are in line with the existing Government policies and programs and also regional and international agreements. 2010 is the International year of Biodiversity. This is a clear indication and reminder that plants and animals are vital in our daily livelihood. My Ministry through its Non Governmental Organization partners and other stakeholders launched the program early this month. Biodiversity does great service to economies through ‘ecotourism’. People taking nature-related holidays contribute economic strength to the national incomes of the countries they visit. Natural processes depend also on the state of our biodiversity. More than one-third of humanity’s food crops depend on this process of natural pollination. This shows the importance of our biodiversity. The Governments of Fiji is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is reaffirming its commitment to this Convention. One of Fiji’s obligations to this Convention is the implementation of the Fiji National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (FNSAP) to conserve the plants and animals; and the ecosystem diversity of the country. Our plants, animals and its ecosystems are threatened by human induced activities causing degradation to our natural environment. The drivers of the degradation are increase in population, urbanization, industrial and economic development. These have stressed our environment causing multiple stressor impacts. This has resulted in loss of habitats, species extinction, resource depletion, environmental pollution and loss of important ecosystems. My Ministry through the Department of Environment is now proactive in implementing programmes and enforcing legislations to minimise these problems. These include the followings:
1. The implementation of the National Solid Waste Strategy. The strategy sets out medium to long-term program addressing waste management issues in Fiji. This is to avoid or minimize the adverse effects of improper waste disposal. 2. The Environment Management Act endorsed in 2005 establishes two important regulations. The Waste Disposal and Recycling Regulations and Environment Impact Assessment Regulation which were endorsed by Cabinet in December 2007. The purpose of these Regulations are to prevent pollution of the environment by controlling...
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