Environment law enforcers have been strongly urged to dig deep and expose dubious dealings against the environmental law in the country.
DPP Ronald Bei Talasasa told local and regional participants who attended a weeklong environmental and compliance enforcement practical skills training here.
Those attended include environment conservationist, infrastructure and planning officers, fisheries and forestry officers, biosecurity/biosafety officers, public prosecution and police officers.
“You are the hands and legs of the government to fight against what we call some of the horrendous acts against the environment.
“To bring about change on this, and a lesson to everybody else that crime against environment can no longer be tolerated, it must begin now,” he said.
Talasasa said this training not only teaches you in relation to prosecution but to understand and apply the regulatory tools.
“No longer are only the police can investigate but you too can investigate and expose corrupt dealings against the environment.
Prevention is better than cure as we always say.
“Sometimes environmental law enforcers lower their guards because their pay does not come, when their terms and conditions of service are below what they expect as compared to the cost of living.
“You and I are placed in a respected position to deliver a service unconditionally.
“The people of this country entrusted you and I to discharge our responsibility, not to be given any responsibility under the table,” he added.
“This is a high calling, thus as you receive your certificates remind yourselves of these expectations and your responsibility.”
MrTalasasa added people in the rural areas in most pacific island countries are less informed of such relevant environmental laws and are speechless most times over issues against their environment.
“People in our rural areas and right across the majority of our population are helpless.
“Where can they look to for guidance, where can they look to for help, they don’t have the money and police officers hands are too tight and are giving priority to high profile cases.
“Think about your responsibilities, so do not compromise it,” he said.
“Bridges built would have given communities a better life, hospitals built would have saved thousands of lives, and schools built would have given the new generation a better future, a hope had it not been for corruption.
“Remind yourselves of this call, you and I will leave tomorrow but let that good legacy live on,” he said.
Training coordinator, Patricia Parkinson said she is confident participants grasped what was learnt and is hopeful they do implement it, helping in protecting the environment and corruptive dealings against it.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI