Friday, December 23, 2011

Should we be watchdogs, campaigners, and/or stick to implementing programmes?

In discussions prior to adopting the Strategic Plan, what should be our core focus naturally was on the table.  TIS has an excellent reputation for instigating and implementing worthwhile Biodiversity programmes which gives us credibility not just at home but both in the Pacific and internationally.  However, there are times when as an environmental NGO we need to let the public know about certain plans that might be detrimental to our pa enua.  The question is how far do we go – just raising awareness or having to create specific campaigns which may result in protesting?  We decided that each case was to be treated on an individual basis, working with those most affected eg fisherman with the Fisheries Campaign, with a focus on awareness via media,  and public meetings, with protests as a last resort.
We have asked for copies of all EIA’s (Environmental Impact Assessments) from the National Environment Service, so we can provide an informed opinion for members and the general public on specific projects. We are hopeful that with the Prime Minister as Minister for the Environment and his “green” policies that former and potential environmentally sensitive issues may be minimalized or not even considered.  In order for this to happen effectively the new Investment Code as well as the revamped National Sustainable Development Plan need to give a clear indication that this country does care about conserving & managing effectively its natural resources for the benefit of future generations instead of exploiting and mismanaging the natural assets we have.

No comments: