Saturday, November 12, 2011

Extractive industries & Human Development in the Pacific: Why is it that Fijian Indigenous Voice or Concerns are Missing from this Discussion??

Bula all,

Thanks P. for heads up on the article below. It is obvious that there are people in Fiji and in the Pacific that really wants to blur that line when it comes to Indigenous Issues whether its to do woth Fijians in Fiji or other Indigen population within the Pacific rim.

Is it utter arraogance on some part or some elements within our Fiji society as well as those in the Pacific Islands? Your guess is as good as ours.

The articles below is adequate to show how some wannabes or academias or those that have knowledge of sort trying to spearhead their way through minus the important contribution by the Indigenous people. Call it waht you may but as for us monitoring: this is indeed the height of arrogance.

Read and make up your own minds.
Luvei Viti Think Tank forum.
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2011 16:45:50 -0700
Subject: FW: [pse-dec] DISCUSSION: Extractive industries and human
development in the Pacific. Reply by 24 November 2011

This might be of interest. You can contribute to the "conversation" (which I am not familiar how it works) by sending in comments to

They seem to not be including any indigenous voices or concerns in the conversation.



From: Gisa Fuatai Purcell []
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2011 11:00 PM
Subject: Re: [pse-dec] DISCUSSION: Extractive industries and human
development in the Pacific. Reply by 24 November 2011

Moderator's Note: Please see below for a contribution from Gisa Fuatai Purcell, asking how Pacific Island Countries can effectively manage extractive industry revenues to best work in the interests of human development and reducing aid dependency. Please keep your comments coming in. The discussion closes on 24 November 2011.

The effective management of extractive industries will contribute to improving human development but to contribute to ending aid dependency in the Pacific the answer may be to look at issues that need to be addressed and legislation that may need to be introduced before we can evaluate if the extractive industries can contribute to ending aid dependency:

1. It depends on the government of the day and legislation that it puts in place to ensure a large percentage of the income from extractive industry can be invested wisely and/or how the income can be distributed to local development.
2. While there will be many people that will have jobs, usually international organizations working these industries will not be allowed to pay more than the minimum wage.
3. Unless there is a strategy to select at least one person from each family to work in these industries, the income might not be evenly distributed to the local people thereby contributing to the economy of the country.
4. There are smaller countries with limited land where large buildings could be built to process whatever the extractive industries would be e.g. Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Niue etc. unless of course they can be built on the sea.
5. Unless there is land reform, land leases could take years to come to
In agreement because traditional land makes up 80% of most Pacific
countries. While there may be chiefs that will agree there are many branches
in each family title entitled to traditional land - even people living
overseas have a right to the said piece of traditional land. Government land
of course can be used but most countries do not have much state land
6. There are only 3 countries in the Pacific who currently earn from extractive industries - PNG, Fiji and Solomon Islands, may be Vanuatu.

If each country considers the above and develops a good and robust macro-economic policy, then there is hope that extractive industries can contribute a great deal to ending aid dependency!

On the other hand, aid dependency might continue because sometimes, when international organizations don't spend their allocation for a certain period, then they go to the countries and wave the greenback extracting 75% of the aid money out of the countries through consulting. Also, when there are experts in the countries, some organizations have the attitude that
expatriates are the best when the local experts know their country well and know how the system works and the impact of each action when local traditions, culture and values are not respected.

To ensure extractive industries work, both external and local experts need to work together and be given equal compensation rather than continuing the international expert rate at a much higher per centage than the local expert. If at the end of the day, only a small percentage of the income stays in the Pacific, how can Pacific countries become independent from aid

My two pennies worth!

Mrs. Gisa Fuatai Purcell

International Telecommunication Union

Suva, Fiji

Moderator's Note: Dear members, could the effective management of extractive industries contribute to improving human development as well as overcoming aid dependency in the Pacific? Let us know by replying to this email by 24
November 2011.

The exploitation of natural resources like oil, gas and minerals has had booms and busts in the Pacific with little apparent impact for human development. As public attention turns towards expanded use of the Pacific's Resource endowment, including seabed mining, how might extractive industries contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction in the region?

For governments, these industries present the opportunity to diversify economies, increase domestic resource mobilization and improve the lives of citizens. But, natural resource wealth, if not managed properly, can be also associated with the "resource curse" of economic decline, political instability, exploding inequalities and domestic conflict.

The United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report 2011:
Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All, stresses that "human development, which is about expanding people's choices, builds on shared natural resources." Just last month, an international conference on Avoiding the Resource Curse: Managing Extractive Industries for Human Development in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia ( <>, examined relevant experiences from various countries.

As conference attendees from the Pacific return to the region, we would like to ask members of the Pacific Solution Exchange if you can share with us examples of how extractive industries have enhanced - or undermined - human development in the Pacific?

Could you:

. Share specific policy and institutional measures that have worked to promote the transparent and sustainable management of extractive industries? What factors have been central to these successes? What has not worked?

. Provide us with examples of policies or agreements with investors that have improved - or worsened - the wellbeing of local communities?

. Could there be an inclusive and transparent "Pacific way" of building partnerships between governments, industry players, non-state actors and local communities to enable sustainable mining towards better human development outcomes? Do let us know.

Warm regards,

Facilitation Team, Pacific Solution Exchange

Suva, Fiji



  1. Some heads should roll for being arrogant in Fiji!!

  2. ooopppss Anon, thanks for your comment. As you can even after this post this blog plus others commenting on Fiji & Indigenous issues in the South Seas Islands effectively got hacked and blocked.

    Na Dina Team


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