Photo: Attorney-General Siromi Turaga/Facebook

Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Siromi Turaga has revealed that the Climate Change Act of 2021 remains ineffective as it stands – basically a toothless piece of legislation.

Speaking at the Lomaiviti Provincial Council Meeting, the Attorney-General said this piece of legislation is currently under the purview of the Office of the Prime Minister and is being looked at closely.

Turaga said the Act has yet to take effect despite being passed in Parliament by the FijiFirst Government in 2021.

He said some components of the law have yet to be approved and regulated by Cabinet – which has not been done.

The Attorney-General revealed that the way that the Act was brought was rushed and without consultations with the i-Taukei Trust Fund Board.

“The previous Government did not discuss this legislation with the Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs.”

“However, the Coalition Government with the relevant stakeholders have reached a consensus and will re-look at the Act. This affects resource owners and landowners, and they were not consulted.”

Turaga added that Government intends to make changes and until the time it is announced – Government intends to hold public consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

The former Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had revealed then that this legislation was simply to create the legal framework for recognising the rights of property owners and the process for registering projects, creating and transferring tradable units, creating a new set of rights and new tradable unit of value which means Fiji can benefit from emerging carbon markets.

Sayed-Khaiyum also indicated that this legislation protected the property rights of landowning units – also, dealing with carbon trading and the opportunity for landowners to gain directly from this.

The former AG had stressed that Government cannot progress transactions without the consent of the landowners or the i-Taukei Land Trust Board.