MA: Seru Tagivakatini - Institute of Applied Science
Degree: Masters of Arts in Geography
Thesis Title: Village Governance in relation to Coastal Resource Management in Fiji - a Case study of Namada Village in Korolevu-i-wai (Nadroga) and Navukailagi village (Gau).
Co-supervisor: Dr. Tamarisi Yabaki
Thesis status: In-progress
All Pacific Island countries (PICs) have dual legal system which is the traditional and modern law. Laws based on traditions and customs were usually verbally passed down through generations, and varied significantly from community to community within countries. The modern law is based on the British legal system and was introduced in Fiji in 1874 when it became part of the British Empire.The British system has seen the introduction and contemporary institutions and regulations that exist and are in operation in Fijian villages. The exitence of this dual system of (instituions and regulations) has created conflicts on the roles and responsibilities of traditional and contemporary village instituions thus affecting governance of resources. A proper system of governance is vital to consolidate institutions and their functions within the village. one which sensitive to issues pertaining to land, resources, their practice, beliefs and values. Legislation to enforce village planning and best resource management practices within the village perimeter are much needed. Manyresource management projects in Fiji use the 'bottom-up' approach which may be seen to challenge the 'top-down' planning and decision-making otherwise being used.