Fiji EIA Guidelines as prepared by the Fiji Department of Environment
In the promotion of environmentally sound and sustainable development, it is indispensable to establish the necessary legal and institutional arrangements such that environmental factors are considered at the early stages of project planning.
Environmental assessment is an important technique for ensuring that the likely impacts on the environment of proposed developments are fully understood and taken into account before such developments is allowed to proceed.
Fiji EIA Guidelinesfiji-Environment-Impact-Assessment-EIA-guidelines
All forms of life including human beings are dependent on the earth’s life sustaining systems for their existence and their well-being.
The ecocycles and ecological processes of nature regulate climate and water flow, cleanse air and water, recycle essential elements, create and regenerate soil and permit all forms of life to exist reproduce and develop.
Today human beings affect all ecosystems, least realizing that they are part of most ecosystems (with very few exeptions) and dependent on these ecosystems. The great challenge we face today is the disrespect for other forms of life on earth causing ecological, social and economical imbalance in the long term.
The relationship between a development project, people and the environment is interrelated. Therefore it is dynamic and changeable. People affect the environment in which they live and are affected, in turn, by changes in the environment.
It is against this background that the environment impact assessments are made. It is impossible to obtain complete information on the project, the environment or the people, but it is necessary to obtain as much information as possible in order to make wise decisions.
EIA is essentially a preventive process. It seeks to avoid costly mistakes in project planning and development; mistakes which can be costly either because of environmental losses that result or costly because of modification that might be required subsequently to make the project environmentally acceptable to the Government and to the community.
In Fiji, Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) for development projects is a requirement under the Environment Management Act (2005) (EMA (2005) ).
If an Approving Authority or the EIA Administrator requires an EIA for an activity, it is because it anticipates the activity may have some adverse effects that need control.
If the activity’s potential adverse effects are known in advance, it can be modified to ensure such effects are avoided, remedied or mitigated and that good environmental results are achieved.
Alternatively, if the significant effects cannot be avoided, remedied or mitigated, the Approving Authority can make informed decisions on whether to approve or decline the project.
Applicability of the guidelines
This guideline is intended primarily for Approving Authorities and the Environment Management Units that are established in line ministries with the aim of helping planning staff and others involved in processing of development projects.
It explains the EIA procedures that must be followed once the application is received for development and should be used in conjunction with the Environment Management Act (2005) and EIA Process Regulations (2007).
These guidelines may also be used as a reference document by developers/ investors for the purpose of understanding Fiji’s Environment Impact Assessment process and requirements.
These Guidelines are Prepared and Published by the Fiji Department of Environment
Copyright: Government of Fiji, 2008
This publication may be produced in whole or in part and in ay form for educational or non profit uses, without special permission from the copyright holder, provided acknowledgement of the source is made.
No use of this publication maybe made for resale or other commercial purpose without the prior written permission from the Department of Environment.
Contact: The EIA Unit, Department of Environment, P.O Box 2109, Government Buildings, Suva, Fiji.