4 September 2012
The board and management of PNG Eco Forestry Forum has urged the Government to ban the deep sea mining project spearheaded by Nautilus Minerals.
Executive Director of the forum Thomas Paka, through a statement, says this undersea project is being rushed and is not in the best interest of the people.
“There are already ongoing mine exploration projects on land which the forum thinks is sufficient and the country should not venture into a project that is not properly researched and poses a lot of uncertainties.”
Mr Paka highlighted that PNG would be used as a guinea pig for this project and that impacts of seabed mining could not be accurately predicted.
He also said there was not enough research to understand the seabed ecology, and added that there were no laws and or policies to manage the activities of deep sea mining in PNG.
He said from these issues highlighted by the forum and all concerned, the forum urged the Government to reconsider this rushed decision.
“The biggest question again asked by the forum and all concerned is; ‘What are the risks?’
“As yet there is no clear answer from the Government or others to this crucial question.
“From experience, mineral exploitation on land has brought a lot of negative impacts both environmentally and socially.”
Mr Paka went on to say that the Government at the moment was not able to monitor and mitigate all the environmental and social impacts of mines in this country.
“It will definitely not have the funds nor the capacity to regulate and monitor this project properly which is a very grave concern because this Government will definitely not be able to mitigate if there are negative impacts and the livelihood of the coastal population will be affected,’’ said Mr Paka.
Therefore, he said, the forum believed that deep sea mining was not in the best interest of the people and asked the Government to stop it.