Friday, December 2, 2011

Pacific Islanders Oppose Experimental Deep Sea Mining

Via Mine Watch

Sohano Island, Bougainville

Pacific civil society organisations have launched a Petition calling on their governments to slow the development of experimental seabed mining at a crucial time for the new industry in the region.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) with the Government of Fiji and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) SOPAC Division is currently hosting an International Workshop on the Exploitation of Deep Sea Minerals.

The workshop reflects the increasing interest and associated concerns on the potential impacts of experimental deep-sea mining and how governments and the ISA will try to regulate this emerging industry.

In response to government efforts to legitimatize experimental seabed mining through the development of legislation, a new Pacific grassroots movement is being launched to express deep concern over the fast-tracking of experimental seabed mining as an option in the Pacific.

"We stood together as a region when nuclear proliferation was being pushed by external parties, and we will do so again against new forms of human rights violations and unsustainable development, such as the kind being pushed based on danger-filled extractive industries", says Effrey Dademo from ACT NOW!

Civil Society is asking all non government organisations and individuals to support the petition by:

  1. Signing the Petition by sending an email to or;
  2. Promoting the petition on websites and through their own networks to encourage others to sign

The petition will be open for signatories until the end of February 2012 when it will be presented to heads of governments of the 15 Pacific countries included in the European Union funded project titled “Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific Islands Region: a Legal and Fiscal Framework for Sustainable Resource Management”.

The Petition has been launched by the following organizations:

  • Act Now!, Papua New Guinea
  • Bismarck Ramu Group, Papua New Guinea
  • Women’s Action for Change,, Fiji
  • Pacific Conference of Churches, Fiji
  • Pacific Network on Globalisation, Fiji
  • Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), International