A Fiji conservationist is concerned one of Suva's last remaining mangrove areas will be lost if a large tourism development gets underway.
The Chinese developers, Tian Lun Investment Ltd, plan to build on an area around a mangrove reserve at Leveti Creek in Nasese.
The proposed build, to be called Fiji's Tain Lun, is described as an 'Integrated Hotel' with an estimated price tag of $US300 million.
Based on design concepts, the project is planned to include a hotel, marina and apartments.
The land set aside for the build is currently under a five-year lease which will end in October this year with the provision for a 99-year lease afterwards.
Rev James Bhagwan is calling on the Fiji Government to revoke the lease or let it lapse.
He said "it does not look realistic" for the development to go ahead while maintaining the current state of the mangroves.
"On investigation, we found that the proposed project was going to basically envisage the removal of the last part of the mangroves still surviving in the area," Bhagwan said.
"We're concerned, one about the biodiversity, two about livelihoods of people who forage the area.
"Because this is state land, we are calling on the government to revoke this lease."
Bhagwan said he's only one of many people concerned by the project.
He said community consultation on the proposed development had been postponed multiple times and had not yet happened. He also said an environment assessment had not been completed.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, Bhagwan is seen paddleboarding in the mangrove area set for development.
"We have to be careful with words like integration because integration does not mean integrated with the environment it means activities and businesses," he said in the video, referring to the integrated hotel.
"When we think about all the statements we make as a nation, or our governments make on our behalf about protecting the planet, this is a carbon sink that we're about to destroy and the message is simple, we need to protect the bio-diversity of Fiji."
Bhagwan said another development - Nasese Waters Project - had already taken out part of the mangroves in the area.