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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN FIJI

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Fiji Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forests and ALTA (MAFF&A) is committed to promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development. The Environmental Technical Committee is the primary coordinating body within the Ministry of Agriculture. The Economic Planning Division sets policy, and the Land Water Resources Management Division implements this policy.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

MAFF&A's "Mission Statement", as laid out in its 1997-2000 Corporate Plan clearly states "... MAFF&A is committed to the responsible and sustainable development of Fiji's agricultural, fisheries and forestry resources ...". This commitment to the concept of sustainability is made real through four (4) areas of operation.

Fiji has a comprehensive "Land Conservation and Improvement Act" which covers good husbandry of land. Failure to adhere to the Act can lead to a farmer losing his/her lease entitlement. Good land husbandry practices are also an integral part of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Act which governs all leasing of agricultural land. The MAFF&A does not lend its approval to any potential farmer attempting to gain a lease on "marginal" land, where the MAFF&A perceives there to be a high risk of land degradation.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The MAFF&A has a staff of over 200 extension officers who advise farmers on the best long-term use of their land. Environmental conservation is seen as an integral part of the extension process. The active promotion of Integrated Pest Management, and the use of vetiver grasses are good examples of this. In the past, the MAFF&A has also funded projects specifically promoting agro-forestry.

The Land and Water Resource Management Division is charged with the " ... overall management of Fiji's land and water resources ... in an environmentally sustainable manner ... ". This involves the use of mass media for awareness and demonstration farms. This Division also undertakes land reclamation programmes and the construction of irrigation facilities. In 1977, with the assistance of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), the Division is undertaking thorough research of Fiji's watershed catchment areas in order to formulate a Watershed Management Master Plan. In the long term this will remove the current need for river dredging operations.
All of the above activities are coordinated by the MAFF&A Environmental Technical Committee, which has also drawn up a "MAFF&A Environmental Policy Paper". The MAFF&A (through the Land Use Section) is a member of Fiji's Land Conservation Board.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

MAFF&A has been carrying out research into minimizing the soil loss from farming on sloping lands under the International Board of Soil Research and Management (IBSRAM) project. The IBSRAM project is investigating ways of producing crops on flatlands, which are traditionally grown on sloping land due to the need for good drainage. A separate but interlinked project, the "Soil and Crop Evaluation Project" has been running for 5 years and is investigating the use of organic fertilizers in Fijian agricultural systems. Separate research projects are being carried out into sustainable livestock husbandry practices.

Status  

No information is available.

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Funding for agricultural projects is provided from the Governments of Japan and Australia and through the South Pacific Commission.

Fiji participates in the Pacific Regional Agricultural Programme (PRAP), the Pacific Land Network (IBSRAM) and in meetings of the Agricultural Ministers of the Pacific Island Nations.

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

For national information on agriculture, click here.
For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Montreal Protocol was ratified in 1989, the London Amendment was ratified in 1994.
Fiji ratified the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) in 1993 and is in the process of complying through undertaking the US Country Studies Programme. This involves studies of greenhouse gas sources and sinks.

An Ozone Depletion Section (ODS) was formed within the Department of Environment in 1995. Its mandate includes the analysis of future demands of ODSs; administrative functions; funding and other technical and audit processing for data collection; to ensure compliance with standards and codes of practice; and accreditation of services. A Climate Change Unit was formed in the Department of Environment to coordinate Fiji's inventory process and reporting, and related studies to produce integrated resource management plans for coastal areas.
A Consultative Committee on ODS was also established with the mandate to coordinate the reporting on annual use, import and storage of controlled substances. The Committee includes representatives from the Government, the Fire Control Sector, the Motor Industry, Tertiary Institutions, the Hotel Industry, the Shipbuilding Industry, and the Builders Industry.

The Department of Environment has formulated a draft Sustainable Development Bill (a comprehensive, integrative environmental and resource management legislation) inclusive of a section on Climate Change and Ozone Depletion. However, the Ozone Depletion Section was taken out in order to enable quick passage through the legislative process.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

The GEF-funded Pacific Islands Climate Change Assistance Project (PICCAP) will assist Fiji, as with other island countries, to meet its national reporting obligations under the FCCC.
The Climate Change project has involved an assessment of the vulnerability of areas where the impacts of sea level rise are likely to be greatest, using geographical, social and economic indicators. By the end of 1997, strategies for adaptation of high risk areas were developed.

Status  

No information is available.

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

The ODS Unit coordinates the licensing and training of personnel in Government and industry. Tertiary institutions undertake training of government and industrial workers. The Consultative Committee instigates liaison work in the industrial sector.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies     

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 and ratified in 1993.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has not been signed.
The current draft of the Sustainable Development Bill has a section on Biodiversity to ensure promotion of protection of biological diversity.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

As one of its key topics Fiji's National Environment Strategy addresses the protection of its natural biodiversity. This includes recommendations of strategic objectives. Fiji has just recently secured some funding from GEF, through UNDP, to prepare its Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan, and to prepare its national report to the Conference of the Parties. This project will include the assessment of existing stock and information, national workshops for consultations and analysis of options.

Besides the preparation of the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan as an integrative approach by many organizations, the issue of biological diversity has been incorporated into various structures of responsibilities of various governmental and non-governmental organizations. It is when formulating national policies or projects that these responsibilities are realized and integrated. Examples include the preparation of mangrove management plans and a national landuse plan.
Fiji also attempts to address issues of the conservation of marine resources, intellectual property rights, bioprospective and biosafety.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available. 

Status  

No information is available.

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects  

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.  

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa has not been signed, as Fiji is not affected from desertification or drought

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

No information available.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Fiji has continued to promote sustainable forest management both through domestic policy development and at international fora. Fiji is committed to the effective implementation of the outcome of UNCED, having signed and ratified the International Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Fiji has just become a member of ITTO. Major initiatives taken towards sustainable forest management, include:

  1. Fiji Forest Sector Review and its incorporation into the National Forestry Action Plan;
  2. Re-inventory of the indigenous forest, installation of the Geographic Information System;
  3. Fiji Logging Code of Practice.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement    

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

Fiji has a total area of 18,390m2 and comprises islands of which 100 are inhabited and supporting a population of 783,550 (end 1994), with a population growth well below 2% (Bureau of Statistics 1990). The largest islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu which together contain over 90% of the population and comprise 87% of the land area.
The islands lie between 178oE and 179oW longitude and between 16o and 23oS latitude just inside the tropical belt. They are largely volcanic, of varying geological age and of moderately fertile soil, with fairly steep dissected topography in the forest areas.
After several thousands of years of human occupation and over a century of European influence, approximately 0.8 million hectares (ha) or about 47% of the country remains under natural forest cover. Reforestation together with afforestation has brought some 90,000 ha of long deforested land back into production. A small area totaling about 42,000 ha is under mangrove forest. Fiji thus has a total land area of 1.83 million hectares under forest. Broadly speaking, extensive areas of the drier parts of the two main islands have suffered deforestation. Consequently, the indigenous forest cover is more than 50% in the wetter parts of the country.
Indigenous forests occupy 797,000 ha, making up 47% of the land and include 253,000 ha of unexploited production forest on which the hardwood industry is presently based. This area comprises 31% of all forests. Eighty-nine percent of the unexploited production forest and 84% of all Fijian forest are under communal ownership.
By the end of 1994, Fiji Pine Limkted's fully stocked area of pine stood at 43,686 ha with plans to extend this area to 55,000 ha by 2006.
By the end of 1996, the Forestry Department had established 51,004 ha of hardwood plantations of mainly mahogany. It is planned to plant 85,000 ha by 2010.

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Strengthening innovation management capacity and innovative technology is central to the economic development of Fiji, especially for enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of existing business and in promoting new businesses.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

For information on forestry and forest products in Fiji, click here.

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Cabinet, particularly the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, the Permanent Secretary of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests and the Director of Fisheries are in charge of issues related to the management and development of freshwater.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

All freshwater areas fall under the Traditionally Customary Fishing Rights Area. The tenure system therefore is the management system in place. No person shall undertake any activities, such as fishing etc., unless approved by the Customary Rights owners. There is no commercial fishing in freshwater in Fiji because of the paucity of freshwater fauna.

The draft "Sustainable Development Bill" requires the formulation and implementation of a "Policy on Water Quality Management". Such a policy would include the prohibition of pollution of any water resource and provide for the enactment of regulations to give effect to the requirements of the policy.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Fiji's National Environment Strategy provides a strategic approach to water management and its relation to other aspects of sustainable development. Watershed management and waste control strategies are part and parcel of freshwater management.

With the assistance of the Government of Japan, Fiji is now in the process of finalizing a watershed management plan; in particular, it would address flood control and the protection of arable land.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available. 

Status  

No information is available.

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Government takes a leading role to consult line ministries on their views and policies related to resource management.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 and ratified in 1993.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The National Environment Strategy recommended the formation of Environmental Management Units in line ministries to be responsible for resource use management.
A National Landuse Plan project has been drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture. Procedures to regulate natural resources extraction are being established including monitoring and audit of extraction operations.

Several inventory of natural resources have been carried out: on forestry by the Department of Forestry, on minerals by the Department of Minerals, and on land use capabilities by the Agricultural Department. A National Resource Management Plan has been formulated and implemented.

A risk assessment of areas prone to flooding and exposure to cyclonic effects have been done in order to mitigate measures to develop a preventive approach.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Susceptible to external influences and increasingly attractive to tourists, the country is open to exploitation for profit and consequently more prone to degradation. In this regard, the Government has provided funding for the establishment of the Sigatoka Sand Dunes national park.

Status 

The resource base of nature-based tourism in Fiji is vast and consists of the sum total of Fiji's natural resources. In particular, the sea and marine life, as well as the ecology of inland areas and settlements, provide major attractions for visitors.

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Capacity building is provided through volunteer organisations such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), VSO and the Peace Corps.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

Fiji is also a party to the Convention for the Protection of Natural Resources and Environment in the South Pacific Region and Related Protocols (SPREP Convention) and to the Convention on the Conservation of Nature (Apia Convention). Fiji is considering becoming a party to the CITES and Ramsar Conventions.

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

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MOUNTAINS

No information available.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The decision-making structure for issues related to oceans and coastal areas includes the Cabinet and particularly the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Director of Fisheries.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed and ratified on 10 December 1982.
Fiji signed and ratified the Wellington Convention on 11 August 1993 and 18 January 1994, respectively; this convention prohibits the use of long driftnets in the South Pacific.

Current fishing policies regarding conservation and exploitation of fish stocks are enshrined in the Fisheries Act Cap 158, the Marine Species Act Cap 158A and subsidiary legislation.
The Fisheries Act addresses fishing within traditional customary fishing areas and the policy on catching fish within the customary fishing rights area is that no commercial fishing activities would be undertaken in traditional fishing areas unless the consent of the chiefs and the people having the right to fish in these areas is obtained.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In terms of fisheries development and conservation, Fiji is committed to the responsible and rational management of fisheries.
Through the customary marine tenure system, traditional methods of conserving fish stocks can be executed, and this form of traditional management is beneficial, resulting in the sustainable and continuing supply of protein to rural people.

Fiji supports the principle of responsible fisheries management and conservation, especially also due to the growing fishing pressures and declining fish stocks worldwide.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects  

No information is available.

Status  

No information is available.

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

Fiji is in the process of undertaking a survey of its total fishery resources. This will further establish appropriate policies for and gradually improve implementation of these policies for national fisheries at the local level. Complementary policies and management plans have been put in place, such as mangrove management plans, and are in the process of being improved. This has been made possible by the integrative approach of the various governmental agencies that have areas of responsibility in coastal areas.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the United Nations Implementing Agreement (UNIA) and the FAO Conduct for Responsible Fisheries all make reference to responsible fisheries management and conservation; Fiji has been a party to the UNCLOS and tuna agreements.
Fiji is very much in the forefront in the regional management of tuna and is very supportive of the current initiatives taken by the Forum Fisheries Agency member countries towards the management of highly migratory fish stocks in the high seas.

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

No information is available.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sewage

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Environment are responsible for solid waste and sewage disposal. The Public Works Department develops facilities for the disposal and treatment of sewage.
The Public Works Department is responsible for sewage disposal and treatment. There are also ongoing efforts to put sewer lines in unsewered areas.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Public Health Act and the Local Government Act are current laws in Fiji that control the collection and disposal of waste and sewage. However, these Acts do not cover sanitary landfills. A revised Litter Decree came into force in 1997.

The Sustainable Development Bill includes provisions for waste minimization and pollution control and it identifies and develops specific responsibilities of various bodies.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Local authorities play a catalyst role in the collection and disposal of solid waste.

Programmes and Projects  

No information is available.

Status 

National regional landfill is being proposed with appropriate disposal, recycling, separation, and leachate control facilities.

Challenges 

Feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments have yet to be undertaken.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Training in this area is provided by WHO, SPREP and other international and regional organisations.

Information  

No information is available.

Research and Technologies    

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.  

Cooperation

The European Union and the Government of New Zealand provide funding for waste management projects.

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

Hazardous Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries is in charge for the control of import licensing. The Customs Department regulates import and export.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No specific regulations are available to deal with safe storage, transportation and disposal of such wastes. Substances classified as hazardous include: pesticides, chemicals (arsenic), petroleum wastes, et al.

When enacted, the Sustainable Development Bill will regulate the import, export, transportation, storage, selling or disposal of hazardous substance or waste (according to the Basel Convention).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Fiji's State of the Environment Report of 1992 identified the causes and constraints of waste disposal, and its National Environment Strategy of 1993 recommended national priorities for waste management and pollution prevention.

In 1994, with the assistance of SPREP, a national workshop was conducted for a comprehensive and integrated approach to preparing a national Waste Minimization and Pollution Control Strategy. This is still in draft form and submissions have been made for its finalization and funding for implementation. The strategy, even in its current draft form, provides guidance and information towards developing environmental regulations on waste management.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects

No information is available 

Status 

The findings of Fiji's State of the Environment Report include the fact that none of Fiji's waste dump sites meets international standards. Attempts are currently being made to establish a suitable site for a regional sanitary landfill.
The necessary feasibility study has been completed and the recommendations are being studied in a public review process. The proposed landfill site would include facilities for reducing wastes that are disposed of; the separation of wastes at source would be encouraged and recycling operations established. Fiji currently has a number of companies that recycle papers and scrap metals.

Challenges 

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information

Fiji has virtually no information available on the generation, storage or disposal of hazardous wastes.

Research and Technologies

No information is available  

Financing 

No information is available

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal has not been signed.

 

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This information is based on Fiji's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: May 1997

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

Radioactive Waste

No information available.

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