Serious consequences for violating environmental laws – FBC News

The Ministry of the Environment says it will not hesitate to prosecute companies and/or individuals who do not comply with environmental laws.

This after Freesoul Real Estate Development was hit with a hefty million dollar fine by the Suva High Court yesterday for carrying out unauthorized development on Malolo Island.

Between 2017 and 2018, the developer was involved in a tourism development on the island in which a channel was dug into the sea and mangroves were cleared from the shore without a proper environmental impact assessment.

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Permanent Environment Secretary Joshua Wycliffe says the message is clear that those who violate environmental laws will not be spared.


“It sends a very strong message to industries, to businesses, we are your friends and we want to help you. We want to make sure we’re doing the right thing. We want more businesses; we want our economy to thrive and the best thing to do is work with us and we will help you.

Environment Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy says they are committed to protecting the environment.

“We are not going to sit back and see people trying to interfere with our environment. They have to go through the process; they have to come to us, the Ministry of the Environment, and ask for approval. We will guide them on how to undertake development.

Dr Reddy says that the environment is important not only for the present generation but also for the future generation.

The department also says the decision in the Freesoul case is also a boost for its staff, which will motivate them to come out, regulate and enforce any breaches.

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