Benjamin Howard | Post Courier
2 October 2012
The community coalition against the proposed Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea has thrown its support behind Oro Governor, Gary Juffa’s initiatives to seek legal clarification on the activities of Nautilus Minerals in this area.
Prominent community development advocate and social commentator, Patrick Kaiku revealed last Saturday that “like-minded groups and citizens, including members of social media group Sharp Talk and affiliated civil society groups have initiated the idea of raising financial contributions” to support legal proceedings undertaken by Mr Juffa.
“We the concerned citizens have started the process of raising financial donations towards meeting certain associated costs in this legal process. Papua New Guineans of all walks of life are kindly invited to put into a trust account whatever amount they can afford’, Mr Kaiku said.
He said that other fundraising activities are being planned to complement this drive and will be announced publicly as soon as they are finalized.
Meanwhile, Mr Juffa has told the Post Courier that the legal proceedings he initiated is primarily aimed at highlighting flaws in the country’s legislations in areas where proper checks and balances are concerned, particularly for companies engaging in projects that have a significant and severe effect on the environment and lives of people, but who are not being held as accountable as they should be.
He said the standard practise where a developer retains an organization to produce an Environment Impact Statement before commencement of any project in Papua New Guinea does not provide for sufficient check and balance and does not allow for transparency and representation of the rights and interests of the people of Papua New Guinea.
Mr Juffa further stated that government agencies tasked to protect the country’s interest must not be act as rubber stamps as this can result in resource and land owners becoming mere spectators without avenues for seeking recourse to the plunder of their environment perpetrated by powerful foreign owned multinational corporations.
“The effort we intend to undertake will allow for the development of proper checks and balances, necessary and appropriate legislation to protect the interests of Papua Guinea.
“I am taking this legal stance on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea, in particular those who live along the coastal shores and on islands and who depend on the sea for their survival and who stand to be adversely affected by the proposed Solwara 1 Project’, Mr Juffa said.
He said that public contributions can be deposited directly into the following account:
Name: Yariyari Lawyer’s Trust Account
Account Number: 1008929331
Bank: Bank South Pacific Limited
Branch: Port Moresby
Swift Code: BOSPPGM
Mr Kaiku also advised that people seeking further information or the veracity of account details provided can contact Mr Juffa by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr Damien Ase at: email@example.com.