II. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN SUVA
There is little doubt that rapid population growth and urbanization has put increasing environmental pressure on Suva City and the Suva region in general. Fortunately, the actual extent of environmental degradation is not as serious as that in larger cities in other developing countries. Suva does not have the same level of industrial pollution associated with heavy manufacturing, nor the levels of congestion or air pollution witnessed in Asian cities. In relative terms the environmental problems of Suva are only in an embryonic stage. The approach towards environmental problems has tended therefore to be somewhat insignificant and ineffective. Continuing to neglect such nascent urban environmental problems for any length of time will oblige the authorities to adopt a reactive approach in future. Such approaches have been used by industrialized nations and have proved to be very costly and often not particularly effective. In order to avoid the problems created by industrialization and urbanization, it will be necessary to set up a proactive planning approach to integrating environmental issues into development decision-making.
The pressure on the environmental assimilative capacity of Suva has provoked an array of different social, ecological and economic problems which can no longer be ignored. The problems include: