17 December 2013
Source: Deep Sea Mining Campaign
Civil society groups across the Pacific criticise SOPAC and its development of a regional regulatory framework on deep sea mining (DSM). They argue that it facilitates and pre-empts DSM before Pacific Island communities have had the opportunity to debate whether this is a form of development they want.
Last week the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) funded by the EU held its 4th Deep Sea Minerals Regional Training Workshop in Fiji. The workshop was jointly organised by Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and focused on “the Environmental Perspectives of Deep Sea Mineral Activities”.
Laisa Vereti, Pacific Islands Association of on-Government organisations (PIANGO) said, “The EU funded SOPAC DSM project needs to have a clear process and mechanism in place. Our pacific governments lack the capacity and expertise to go into this new venture. Countries need to put proper legislation and regulation in place to safe guard their resources and the well being of their people before even thinking of engaging in this new industry.”
The workshop brought together civil society, Pacific Island Government Representatives and DSM mining companies. The scientific experts confirmed that little is still known about deep sea environments and there is much speculation about the extent and nature of the impacts of deep sea mining.