Yesterday we were at a garden supplies (in Oz) where various kinds of sand, gravel, stones, mulch,bark, is sold. We bought large stones to decorate our garden. When I talked with the owner he said they just can't extract stones etc. from the nearby rivers but have to go about 250 k away. Areas such as rivers are licensed and that's fair enough. So what happens in Fiji? When some people were taking sand by the truckload from Nukutatava beach, and gravel from the nearby hillside, we were astonished and very disturbed and stopped it, though they wouldn't listen the first warning.
From observation, sand in Fiji is taken from sandbars and beaches with a little more than a nod and a handshake - maybe some cash, or kava, and it's ripping the ecology apart. It's quite sinful to damage the environment in this way. That's why when I saw this small article in today's Fiji Media, it made sense to have a body like the NLTB to check up on what's happening with the extraction of sand, gravel, stones, etc.
from Fiji FBC
NLTB warns on license to extract sand
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Landowners should first obtain a license if they want to allow hardware companies to extract sand and gravel from their land for commercial use says the Native Land Trust Board. General Manager Alipate Qetaki says it is illegal to sell sand and gravel for commercial purposes without a license. Qetaki told FBC News that as a trustee of native land the NLTB will scrutinize all dealings regarding the transfer of sand and gravel and those caught without a licence will be penalised. Qetaki says sand and gravel can be taken for building houses or other domestic use but should not be sold unless landowners obtain a licence from the NLTB.
Report by : Sekope Toduadua