These minerals we use to build our homes, schools, roads, water systems and just about every type of infrastructure you can think of, are critical for the Pacific. We use them to treat our soil and increase agricultural yields, to protect our coastlines from the impacts of disasters, as well as deep-rooted cultural functions such as ‘lovo stones’. In fact Development Minerals have a role to play in all 17 of the SDG’s.
To help us understand our resources better we need to know what Development Minerals we have and where they are located so we can use them in a way which optimises environmental, social and economic outcomes - to ensure our region continues to develop in a resilient manner.
SPC was commissioned by UNDP to conduct the recently released ‘Baseline Assessment of Development Minerals in Fiji’ officially launched in February by Fiji’s Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Hon. Ashneel Sudhakar.
The work done by SPC was a ‘big picture’ study of the sector aiming to identify current issues and recommend actions to support sustainable development into the future. It found the current industry could be worth FJ$369million per annum to Fiji, with previous estimates sitting around FJD53million.
The report found significant and acute negative social and environmental impacts associated with river gravel extraction and recommended a transition to a more sustainable alternative, a network of hard rock quarries in strategic locations.
The full report is now online and can be downloaded here.
For more information please contact:
Akuila Tawake, Director Georesources & Energy Programme (GEM Division at SPC) [email protected] or Robert Smith, Senior Advisor Marine Geophysics [email protected].
This work is part of a larger global project. For more information on this, please see here on ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme website - Development Minerals in Fiji.