The Archaeology Department is responsible for archaeological research throughout the country. In this capacity, the department carries out legislative review, identification, recording and protection of archaeological and maritime sites and cultural heritage management related activities. The Fiji Museum is legally empowered under the Preservation of Objects of Archaeological and Palaeontological Interest Act (POAPI Act), cap.264, Laws of Fiji, to carry out and enforce a range of measures in relation to the protection of sites of cultural significance around the country. Within these responsibilities, the department maintains a ‘Register of Archaeological, Historic and Maritime sites’ which is a comprehensive database of all known cultural sites in Fiji. The Register is continually being updated through new fieldwork and assessments.
Under the POAPI Act, no archaeological research or excavations can be carried out in Fiji without permit issued by the Fiji Museum. The Fiji Museum works with researchers from around the world to support and oversee their archaeological activities in Fiji. Permit applications are available on our ‘Forms’ page.
In addition, the Department has and is continuously involved in national projects concerning the conservation of the biodiversity of Fiji’s forest ecosystems, such as the Fiji National REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and MESCAL (Mangrove Ecosystems for Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihood). This includes having worked in various semi-government projects in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific, SPC-GIZ, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), focusing on issues concerning the conservation of terrestrial and marine communities as a whole.
Apart from the above projects, the department is also sub-contracted by various environmental consultants to assess the impact that developments around the country have, or will have, on cultural sites as part of the Cultural Impact Assessment requirements for development applications.