A. Study objectives
The focus of this case study is Suva, the capital city and main urban concentration of Fiji. It analyses the strengths and weaknesses in existing institutional arrangements and mechanisms for incorporating environmental considerations into decision-making for economic, social and physical development. This paper is also is the companion report to the national level study entitled "Integrating environmental considerations into economic decision-making processes at the national level in Fiji" in volume I of this background reading series. This study was undertaken at a critical time in terms of environmental planning and management, when a comprehensive Sustainable Development Bill was to be submitted to Parliament in late 1997.
Chapter I reviews the environmental and development trends related to urbanization in Fiji, with particular reference to Suva City and the Suva region. The historical background to those developments is also presented. The rapid growth in population and the manufacturing industry is described and analysed in some detail. Local and national government policies for the development of Suva, and the interrelationship between the two, are reviewed. Institutional arrangements for decision-making and development planning at the national and local government levels are also compared.
Chapter II looks at the environmental implications of growth and development of Suva. It also reviews the problems that have been created by pressure on the environmental assimilative capacity of Suva, including:
Chapter IV, which is the core of the study, analyses the existing institutions and measures for the integration of environmental concerns into development planning and decision-making for Suva City. Institutional arrangements are traced from the pre-independence period to the present, together with an analysis of the expected arrangements under the Sustainable Development Bill. Particular attention is given to the interface and coordination, or lack there of, between national and local governments in undertaking urban and environmental planning. The environmental administration of Suva is described and analysed in some detail. The approaches and measures used to achieve stated environmental policies at the urban level are described and their effectiveness evaluated.
Chapter IV provides an overall assessment of the integration of urban environmental measures into development planning. A comparison is made between the current situation and how it evolved, and the system envisaged under the Sustainable Development Bill.
Chapter V provides a case study on environmental management in Suva: The Anti-Litter Decree was selected because it was one of the few laws where serious enforcement and monitoring efforts have been attempted. That experience provides insights into what may be legally feasible at the present time in Fiji, at least in the short term. It thus provides a very useful microcosm of the type of problems that might be encountered with the implementation of the much more comprehensive Sustainable Development Bill.