PEIN Country Profile and Virtual Environment Library
Melanesia - Pacific (Oceania)
English, Bau Fijian and Fiji Hindi
National Focal Points for Environment:
Department of Environment
* Excerpt from 'Fiji Strategic Development Plan 2007-2011'
“Ensuring environmental sustainability” is the seventh MDG, which provides a framework for integrating the principles of Sustainable Development into national policies, thus ensuring availability of safe drinking water, improving sanitation, and reducing other social ills such as poverty and unemployment.
Achieving sustainable development, while overcoming environmental challenges such as deforestation, land degradation, logging of watersheds, over-exploitation of terrestrial and aquatic biological resources, improper waste management and pollution control, impact of climate change, and the attitude of people in terms of the unsustainable use of their resources, is a central challenge to governments of small island states such as Fiji. Increasing population, urbanization, industrial, agricultural and other economic development have placed increasing pressure on coastal zones leading to loss of habitat and affecting ecological processes. This is a result of coastal development, pollution, increased water demand from freshwater lenses, over exploitation of resources and other related issues The absence of consistent monitoring of development within coastal zone development makes it difficult to assess the extent and seriousness of damage and degradation in coastal zones of Fiji.
The discharge of untreated or inadequately treated wastewater from the industrial and agricultural sectors, and increased sewage discharge causes harmful effects to the environment and to human health. The impacts of which result in changes to the ecosystems, reduction in economic value of resources, aesthetic damage, and poses human health risks. Contaminants of concern that are present in wastewater include pathogens (micro-organisms), nutrients, heavy metals, hazardous chemicals, suspended solids, and oil and grease.
The Ministry of Environment, in partnership with other Government Ministries and
The key features of the EMA 2005 are:
Government has endorsed the Fiji Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (2003), with implementation being ongoing through various Government Ministries and Departments, Institutions and NGOs. Through such partnerships, the Ministry of Environment is conducting research programmes to identify areas of high biodiversity and sustainable productive areas, such as Marine Protected Areas (MPA), which are being recommended for protection. In Fiji, 177 out of 189 sites have been identified as MPA (area coverage of 7000 sq. meters of Qoliqoli area). Kadavu is legally gazetted while the rest have traditional ban (Taboo) imposed. It is envisaged that these areas will be added attractions, as they convert to marine parks bringing economic benefit to the resource-owners, whilst conserving the natural heritage and habitat.
Solid and Liquid Waste Management strategies has also been developed. The extension of urban boundaries and the incorporation of new towns had seen an increasing demand for waste management in urban areas. Since the Naboro Landfill caters for Suva-Nausori area, rural areas have no proper waste management systems. They either use their backyards or mangroves as dumpsites. A rural waste management policy is being developed under the International Waters Programme. As part of the policy an economic evaluation research is being done to estimate the economic costs of the current, liquid and solid waste management systems in the Rewa Province, including health and amenity costs and to identify and evaluate alternative waste management options for households in rural areas. MoE has worked the squatter waste management in the Wailea Squatter Settlement and hopes to replicate the best practices to other squatters in Fiji.
The Ministry of the Environment has been implementing the Ozone Depleting Substances Act 1998 and its Regulations (2000). With this legislation, MoE regulates the import, export, sale, storage and use of ozone depleting substances (ODS), such as refrigerators and air-conditioning, to give effect to Fiji’s obligation under the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer and the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. Government had endorsed Fiji’s methyl bromide phase out action plan, one of the ozone depleting chemicals, and the management plan for total phasing out of methyl bromide and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) by 2010.
Development Constraints and Challenges
The major environmental problems include: deforestation, land degradation, air and water pollution, inappropriate refuse disposal, climate change and sea-level rise, outdated legislation and its inadequate enforcement, and limited public awareness. It is hoped that the implementation of the Environment Management Act and related programmes, and allocation of adequate resources, will assist in addressing some of these issues. The challenges that will be faced while implementing EMA include the absence of accredited laboratories in the country. Currently only one laboratory has been accredited, which is the Institute of Applied Sciences of USP, and the accreditation is only for a limited range of parameters. There is an urgent need to address this gap in country to avoid high costs of foreign laboratories. Accredited laboratories will enable better
Adaptation Learning Mechanism [climate change adaptation] country profiles
Asian Development Bank Country Profiles and Strategies
Biosafety Profiles [CBD Biosafety Clearinghouse Mechanism]
Birdlife [Avifauna] Profiles
see also Species profiles [*For the Globally Threatened Birds (those evaluated as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable), each factsheet contains a summary account, range map and an illustration, plus additional data tables. For Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Near Threatened, Least Concern and Data Deficient species, each contains a concise summary paragraph and some additional data tables.] [Birdlife International]
see also Important bird areas of the Pacific [IBAs] (2010) [Birdlife Pacific]
* order the complete CD-ROM 'Important bird areas in the Pacific: a compendium' from the SPREP IRC
see also Endemic Bird Areas [EBAs] of the Pacific [incl. Aitutaki Fiji ]
see also Pacific regional overview [Birdlife International]
Country Climate Profile [UNDP]
Earthtrends Thematic Country Profiles [WRI]
Ecoregion Profiles [World Wildlife Fund]
Tropical & Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Endangered Species: Country Profiles:
Environmental Vulnerability Index - Country Profiles [SOPAC / UNEP]
EU Pacific Country Environment Profiles
see also EU Country Partnership Profiles [incl. environment and EDF10 strategies]
Fishbase Biodiversity Country Profiles (all fish)
Fisheries Resources Profiles
Forestry Country Profiles
see also FAO Forest Resource Assessment : Country Reports 
see also FAO Forest Resources Assessments - Data collection for the Pacific region 
see also State of the World's Forests 2007: Asia and the Pacific [FAO] (2008; 1.77mb)
Global Biodiversity Information Forum [GBIF] Country Profiles
see also GBIF Google Earth Country Links
Global Environment Facility (GEF) Country Profiles
Integrated Coastal Management Profiles
Integrated Water Resource Management Profiles [SOPAC]
Invasive Species : Country Profiles [ISSG]
Laws and legislation
see also 'Legislative reviews' in Country Reports (below)
Mangrove and Wetlands Profiles [ *from Proceedings of the Pacific Regional Workshop on Mangrove Wetlands Protection and Sustainable Use . SPREP, 2002.]
see also: A Directory of Wetlands in Oceania 
Marine Resource Profiles
see also: State of the marine environment in the South Pacific Region (1990; 3.48mb)
see also:Reefbase Country Profiles (coral reefs, reef fish, biodiversity) Fiji
see also GIS data for corals in the Pacific from Reefbase - browse by country and reef profile
MPA Global Profiles (marine protected areas database) Fiji
Mapservers containing country level data on land utilisation, forestry, minerals etc. Fiji
Millenium Development Goals - Country Profiles Fiji
Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum Country Data: Fiji
Pacific Regional information System - PRISM [SPC]
Political Reviews [Contemporary Pacific] Fiji
see also GIS data for marine protected areas in the Pacific - browse by country and ecosystem
SPREP Country Profiles: Exchange of Information by Members at SPREP Annual Meetings:
- Exchange of information by Members on national developments related to Pollution Prevention priority of the SPREP Action Plan 
- Exchange of Information by Members on National Developments Related to the Climate Change Focus Area of the SPREP Action Plan 
- Exchange of Information by Members on Year of Biodiversity 
Sustainable Development Profiles (UN Agenda 21)
Threatened species: Summary of species on the 2008 IUCN Red List
UNEP Country Profiles [* poorly maintained and little information available]
see also "Pacific Regional Consultation on Water in Small Island Countries" - country briefing papers (2003)
WHO Environmental Health Profiles
World Bank Environment indicators
World Factbook Country Profiles [CIA]
World Ocean Database 2005 [NOAA]
see also Environmental indicators: South Pacific (UNEP: 2004; 6.23mb)
Asian Development Bank Country Environmental Analysis Reports
Barbados Programme of Action + 10 (BPoA)
Pacific Environment Outlook (2005; 30.99mb)
The Conference on Small Island Developing States (Barbados Conference, 1994) highlighted the importance of island biodiversity as an ecological corridor linking major areas of biodiversity around the world. The conference called for international co-operation and partnership to support the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in their efforts to conserve, protect and restore their ecosystems. The Barbados Plan of Action recognizes the importance of the coastal zone as a source of subsistence and economic development.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
Disasters and Climate Variability in the Pacific Islands: WORLD BANK regional stocktake- Country Assessment:
Mauritius Strategy + 5 Review: National Assessment Reports [5-year Review of Progress Made in Addressing Vulnerabilities of Small Islands Developing States Through Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Further Implementation (MSI) of the
Millenium Development Goals National Reports
National Action Programmes (NAP) to combat land degradation [UNCCD]
National Air Pollution Control Strategies
see also Implementation framework 2010-2014 for the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2007 : Fiji Islands - (2010,4.8MB)
National Capacity Self Assessment (NCSA)
Cross-cutting Analysis: Fiji (2008; 1.2mb)
NCSA Status (NCSA website)
National Integrated Water Resource Management : Diagnostic Reports - drafts only [SOPAC]
National Assessment Reports: Fiji (2006; 200kb)
Indicators: Fiji (2003; 19kb)
ADB Reports: Fiji (2004; 386kb)
Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change [PACC] - reports, activities and PACC news updates
Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change [PACC] - report of in-country consultations
Pacific Regional Consultation on Water in Small Island Countries - Country briefings
Regional overview report (2004; 2.59mb)
Peristant Organic Pollutants (POPs): Country Plans
National Implementation Plans
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention, 1989), the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (Rotterdam Convention, 1998) and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) (Stockholm Convention, 2001) together provide an international framework for the environmentally sound management of hazardous chemicals throughout their life cycles.
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands: Country reports to the RAMSAR CoPs
National reports to the 4th Oceania Regional meeting for the RAMSAR COP10 10-11 April 2008, Apia Samoa
Ships' Waste Management in Pacific Islands Ports: Country reports
State of the Environment Reports
see also State of the Environment of the South Pacific 1983 (UNEP: 1983; 1.66mb)
see also the archive of SPREP Country Reports between 1980-1983 as follows:
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, 1992) and the Rio Declaration highlighted the need for sustainable development-socially responsible economic development that protects the resource base and the environment for the benefit of future generations. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was one of the outcome instruments of the UNCED process, also highlights the need for conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
Fourth National Reports:
see also Country profiles compiled by the Secretariat for the UNCBD.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was one of the outcome instruments of the UNCED process, highlights the need for conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (Land Degradation) (UNCCD)
Second National Reports: Fiji (2002; 510kb)
Third National Report: Fiji (2006 ; 668 kb)
National Action Plans: Fiji (2007; 572kb)
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is an agreement to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC,1992) is concerned with global warming and the consequent rise in sea levels that may result in the flooding of coastal areas, and submerging islands, which could adversely affect coastal communities. The treaty aims at reducing emissions of greenhouse gas in order to combat global warming. Although the treaty as originally framed set no mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual nations and contained no enforcement provisions; it did include provisions for updates (called "protocols") that would set mandatory emission limits. The principal update is the Kyoto Protocol.
World Summit on Sustainable Development [Rio+10 - Johannesburg 2002]
The WSSD Plan of Implementation calls for the management of the natural resources base in a sustainable and integrated manner. In this regard, to reverse the current trend in natural resource degradation as soon as possible, it is necessary to implement strategies which should include targets adopted at the national and, where appropriate, regional levels to protect ecosystems and to achieve integrated management of land, water and living resources, while strengthening regional, national and local capacities.
The Johannesburg Declaration and the Plan of Implementation arising from the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD, 2002) reconfirmed the commitment of States to advance and strengthen the interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development-economic development, social development and environmental protection-at the local, national, regional and global levels.
for more acts and regulations see National legislation
Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:
Town Planning Act [Cap 139]
Reports available online from the SPREP Library and IRC database
Multimedia - posters, videos etc
1. Vital Food - Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change - Fiji
Academic literature and research
National Trust of Fiji
SPREP Library and IRC collection [SLIC] - includes online full text access to a wide range of Pacific environment materials.
The Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN] Virtual Library - full text publications from SPREP, SOPAC, SPC and other CROP agencies, Pacific govt. environment depts. , regional institutions, and NGOs active in the area of environment conservation.
SPREP's International Instruments' webpage
Copyright © 2003-2010 SPREP. Copyright details available.
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