Citizen Engagement in Environmental Protection Workshop

5/6 August 2022,

Jubaniwai Conservation Foundation – Sigatoka

After more than 3 years of working with the Sigatoka Black Sand Advocacy project, we have finally achieved on of the main objectives.

  • That is for the landowners and communities to organize and speak on matters relating to the use of their natural resources and the issues of Human rights themselves.

These comes after much work, empowerment and support through the collaboration of JPIC, Caritas and FCOSS with the financial and technical support from Jubilee Australia.

A unique and powerful working group exists in Sigatoka as they are all matured women and passionately defending their Land and their children from effects of Black Sand mining.

This core group also coordinated, organised and formally registered their group as Jubaniwai Conservation Foundation which consists of the 7 villages in the District of Sigatoka which are all owners to the proposed black sand mining field which runs on both sides of the Sigatoka river including the Sand dunes up to the open sea.

Saturday, 6th August 2022. – Vunavutu village, Sigatoka.

The Jubaniwai group organised to have a representative from each of the 7 villages while JPIC & Caritas lead in topics relating to Environmental Justice and the Impacts of Black sand mining. Vunavutu village is crucial as they are the traditional owners of Koroua island/Kulukulu and at the centre of this mining project plus they hold chiefly status and connection in Sigatoka.

At Vunavutu village hall.

There was a lot of discussion on Way forward for Solidarity on environment protection.

Youths and women were very engaged in this participatory workshop and it has created further momentum to this work.

Community engagement process.

Way forward – August – December, 2022

From this workshop here the following  program was decided,

  1. Conduct this workshop to the rest of the six main village and communities.

a) Nayawa, b) Volivoli,

c) Kulukulu, d) Sigatoka,

e) Yavulo, f) Nasama.

2. Have been asked to present at the village meeting where all the village members will be present.
3. Carry on with the Shadow EIA report and documentary
4. Government and Provincial ministry roundtable to discuss this issue – August 19th
5. The whole of Sigatoka district to sign a petition against Black sand mining to active “The Save Sigatoka campaign”

The picture shows the whole area where this mining project is taking place under the Special prospecting Licenses.

The fight continues …

T.Naikasowalu – JPIC.