Expansion of Marine Protected Areas


Litia Vulaidausiga

Up to 30 per cent of Fiji’s exclusive economic zone will be dedicated to marine protected areas, under the new Climate Change Bill.

This was confirmed by Min­ister responsible for Climate Change, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the Asia-Pacific Judicial Confer­ence on Environmental and Climate Change Adjudication in Nadi.

“The Bill will also help enhance and incentivize envi­ronmental protection with the establishment of a framework to progress emissions reduc­tions projects, under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement,” the A-G said.

Accordingly, the Bill will es­tablish a national carbon project registry.

As climate change impacts intensify across the region and court cases build, the confer­ence was aimed at addressing climate litigation, sustainable development law and necessary policies on judicial training and capacity building.

“Even though we as judicial officers deal with matters that come before the courts and are not involved in enacting legislation or making policies, we must not lose foresight of the fact that we play an im­portant role in protecting the rights of all individuals to have a safe and healthy environ­ment, which of course would be subject to certain limitations such as national security, eco­nomic policy and availability of resources,” said Acting Chief Justice, Kamal Kumar.

This was the first occasion for Fiji to host the conference, organised in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Environment, Asian Judges Network on En­vironment and Global Judicial Institute on the Environment.