BY: Annette Kora
17:26, March 8, 2017
The Caritas Coordinators of 19 Catholic Dioceses of the Catholic Church of PNG held its Annual Caritas PNG Forum 2017 in Madang in February.
The group are part of the Catholic network for social and ecological justice, and integral human development in the rural communities
The potential impacts of the proposed first ever “Experimental Seabed Mining” in PNG waters was among the agendas.
It was brought to light that the negative impacts greatly outweigh the anticipated benefits.
“In solidarity with Alliance of Solwara Warriors, Bismarck Ramu Group, and other concerned organisations, we are compelled to speak out on behalf of the affected silent majority in the rural coastal and island communities.”
They said the PNG Government has not been adequately advised resulting in granting mining licenses for the unprecedented project adding that they are aware that PNG national Government has already commissioned independent reviews of the IES yet copies of the report are hard to obtain.
“There has also been a lot of consultation – ie: the Government and Nautilus Minerals Ltd going out to communities to tell them how the project will proceed but, fell short of obtaining the communities’ consent.”
“We foresee that the coastal and island people whose daily lives are wholesomely dependent on the marine resources will be seriously deprived if the project goes ahead. In the economic and social realm, the dignity and complete vocation of the human person and the welfare of society as a whole are to be respected and promoted.”
The undersigned plead the Government to BAN experimental seabed mining because:
- Nautilus Minerals Ltd has not demonstrated that seafloor resource development is commercially viable and environmentally sustainable.
- The already commissioned Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report is not available to the stakeholders concerned.
- Nautilus Minerals Ltd has not provided evidences of successful projects.
- The local communities have not consented to the project going ahead.
- The many unknowns make it a high risk project.