14 May 2002

WWF to make submission against Cooks environment bill

4:49 pm on 14 May 2002

The WorldWide Fund for Nature in the Cook Islands is to make a submission proposing alterations to a controversial Environment Bill.

The bill has been sent to a parliamentary select committee after the government was unable to get it passed into law.

Mona Matepi, the project officer for WWF, says her main concern is that the bill gives far too much power to the environment minister who can overturn decisions of the environment council.

"What is the purpose of having a group of people, that is entrusted to make sound decisions on behalf of Government, on behalf of environment - when you can easily turn around and overturn.. one person can overturn that decision.I think that's undemocratic. I think that's not right, to have so much power vested in one person."

Mona Matepi says several other organisations will also be making submissions on the bill.