Two campaign organisations, based in
ACT NOW! and the Pacific Network on Globalisation say the Pacific region has already suffered the negative social and environmental impacts of industrial mining on land and should not take further risks with the marine environment.
“Rather than allowing ourselves to be the testing ground for multinational companies and foreign governments, Pacific countries should focus on new approaches to our own
development that is consistent with our lifestyle, history and social and political realities”, says Effrey Dademo, programme manager with ACT NOW!
Nautilus Minerals has already been granted a license by the PNG government to develop the world’s first deep-sea mine and the European Union has announced plans to help 15
Pacific island countries to develop laws and policies to facilitate such operations across the region.
Maureen Penjueli, coordinator for PANG, says Pacific island countries do not have the resources, capacity or experience to effectively manage and monitor large resource projects and government should focus on supporting their own people rather than large corporate interests.
“We have had an alternative development model forced upon on us by outsiders but it is clear that model is not working for us and, indeed, is failing in the West as well.
“We, as Pacific people, need to find our own voice and return to a focus on our own strengths and knowledge base.
“Deep-sea mining is likely to be another catastrophic failure for the region and we don’t need it.”