Sufficient information should be made public to landowners

By: Filipe Naikaso

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.13.06 PMA representative of landowners from Bua has raised concerns that not enough discussions are held with landowners when it comes to mining.

The Bua Urban Youth Network says sufficient information should be made public to landowners.

Landowners need to be consulted more if mining is to take place in their province.

That’s the strong sentiment shared by Bua Urban Youth Network Rep Vani Catanasiga.

Since 2012, the group have been advocating for free prior informed consent.

“The land owning committee that was in the room when the negotiations were sealed or when the deal was sealed didn’t even understand what bauxite was they didn’t understand the concept of open cut mining so basically when people were telling them about mining they had in their mine Vatukoula underground mining.” said Bua Urban Youth Network Rep Vika Catanasiga.

Despite mining being done in parts of Bua already, the group will not stop voicing their concerns.

“We are asking government to act in good faith and utilize processes that allow landowners to get all the full information so that when they say yes they say yes to the good effects the money, the development deals as well as the bad impacts the one that impact on their ability to gather food for their families to earn an income form the environment that they depend on.” said Catanasiga.

They have joined forces with the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee advocating on the impacts of mining.

The Bua Urban Youth Network say majority of the landowners are open to mining.

“The first workshop that was organised in tanoa Plaza where they talked about neglected development minerals what does that even mean as far as I know none of the landowners were invited but I do know that taukei affairs board was present but taukei affairs board is a Govt department it is not a land owning unit you know the best they could have done this time is get in people who have had experiences or land owning communities that have dealt with the impacts of extractives to be able to give a balanced veiw and that’s all we are asking that they seat at the table because they cannot be discussing something about us without us.” she added.

The Bua Urban Youth Network also say they will not stop here.

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