Grace Tiden | Post Courier
12 October 2012
[East New Britain protest against Nautilus Minerals Solwara 1 deep sea mining project. Photo: Lythia Suitawa via Stop Experimental Seabed Mining in the Pacific Facebook page]
Civil Societies and students of the PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment in East New Britain Province staged a peaceful protest march yesterday in Kokopo to support the campaign against sea bed mining in PNG.
The protesters chanted “Stop sea bed mining” as they marched towards the Kokopo Market from the Omorong Beachfront at Vunapope.
The protest march scheduled for yesterday saw a huge crowd converge before lunch at Omorong.
Led by police, the 350 students, Non-government Organisation representatives and community leaders, demonstrated their opposition to the new mining project with placards.
At the market, the group carried out awareness on the effects of sea bed mining.
East New Britain Sosel Eksen Komiti (ENB SEK) representative Peter Tutuai said the students gave awareness talks and shared information on the economic and environmental issues, the welfare of the local people and other concerns surrounding sea bed mining.
The general public were also invited to share their opinion on the issue.
Mr Tutuai also said that currently PNG did not need to go into sea bed mining because there were already a lot of land-based mines in the country.
There was also a public appeal to members of the general public to contribute towards an initiative by Oro Governor Gary Juffa to take the matter to court.
Mr Tutuai said a petition will be presented to relevant authorities including government officials at the university today at around 10am this morning.
He also said the NGOs that took part in the protest march included members of the ENB SEK, the Wide Bay Conservation Association, and FORCERT amongst others.
He said civil societies in ENB were also in the process of preparing a petition which they will present to their provincial parliamentarians at a later date.