|The Courier No. 160 - Nov - Dec 1996 - Dossier Habitat - Country Reports: Fiji, Tonga, Developing World (European Community, 1996)|
Africa - Caribbean - Pacific - European Union
Fiji is home to people of a variety of cultures but it would not be accurate to describe this Pacific island country as a 'melting pot'. Politics here are dominated by the difficult relationship between indigenous Fijians and the descendants of indentured Indian labourers brought in to work the sugar cane fields. We look at how this situation affects the economy - which everyone acknowledges has considerable potential, and examine the prospects for ethnic rapprochement as the nation begins a 'great debase' on the future shape of its Constitution.
Tonga appears like a haven of tranquility in a turbulent world. A society which respects hierarchies and is strongly attached to 'traditional values', it is also one of the few remaining places with a hereditary ruler who wields substantial power. But outside influences cannot be ignored altogether and nations everywhere are having to adapt to living in the 'global village'. Our report focuses on the possible consequences of this for the 'Friendly Islands' as the new millenium approaches.
The concept of 'habitat' conjures up different things to different people - from the right to a roof over one's head to the way in which we manage the flora and fauna of the planet. In our dossier, we consider the legacy of the United Nations 'Habitat' Conference held in Istanbul earlier this year. We also highlight some of the initiatives being taken to improve the quality of people's living environment.