The Republic of Fiji expressed its commitment to responsible governance of the mining sector by joining the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF). The IGF is a voluntary partnership that welcomes member states of the United Nations.
“We are pleased to welcome Fiji as the IGF’s 63rd member state,” IGF Director Greg Radford said in a statement. “Fiji’s unique perspective will add depth to the dialogue among IGF members. We look forward to supporting Fiji’s government in its efforts to build a strong and sustainable mining sector.”
Fiji’s Department of Lands and Minerals has a stated vision of “vibrant, equitable, dynamic management of our land and minerals for a sustainable environment and economic future.”
Fiji is a focus country of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Program, an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, the European Union and the United Nations Development Program to improve the management of industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension stones and semi-precious stones. Under the program, Fiji has focused on the administration and management of river gravel and sand extraction which are used in the nation’s construction industry. Fiji has also successfully launched a one year Certificate Program in Geology, Mining and Quarrying through Fiji National University.
Recently, an amendment to the Employees Relation Act was enacted in Parliament which now allows women to work in underground mining operations. This marks a milestone achievement for the sector as it offers equal opportunity to both men and women.
According to Dr. Raijeli Taga, Director of Mineral Development for Fiji’s Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, “Fiji will bring a wealth of experience from the region’s mineral sector, as it is the hub for the Pacific, and may provide a voice for Pacific region islands at IGF’s Annual General Meeting, resulting in opportunities for the region.” Dr. Taga added, “The nation looks forward to building capacity, establishing best practices inspired by others in the mining sector and fostering economic benefits due to improved processes and systems.”
More information is available on the Mineral Resource Department’s website: http://www.mrd.gov.fj/
The IGF supports more than 60 nations committed to leveraging mining for sustainable development to ensure that negative impacts are limited and financial benefits are shared. It is devoted to optimizing the benefits of mining to achieve poverty reduction, inclusive growth, social development and environmental stewardship. The International Institute for Sustainable Development has served as Secretariat for the IGF since October 2015. Core funding is provided by the Government of Canada.
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