Pacific CSOs raise concern on accelerated seabed mining developments in the region

Date: May 19, 2014

Source: The Hawaii Independent

Pacific Civil Society groups including churches, non-governmental organisations(NGOs), feminist and women’s groups, indigenous customary landowners and community groups have a well established and firm stance on the issue of seabed mining – stop all seabed mining activities – for several reasons.

The purpose(s) for, and developing practices of, seabed mining are clearly in breach of fundamental moral and ethical principles. Pacific islands governments are persuaded to progress seabed mining in the Pacific on the false basis that it is a viable development option – our economies will grow and thus revenue, jobs, foreign investments are the primary basis for support. Proponents of seabed mining in the Pacific have placed importance on prudent fiscal policy and fiscal stability to ensure seabed mineral revenues do contribute to sustainable economic growth. Further emphasise is accorded to GDP as a central measuring tool in the design of action strategies for the management of seabed mining revenues.

However, Pacific Civil Society argues that GPD is an inadequate tool on it’s own to measure wealth given that wealth is purely financial and disregards all other manner of value that make up a country’s wellbeing. This unfortunately reflects that the current language used to advocate for seabed mining developments, and therefore the process adopted for the pursuit of these developments, is not neutral.

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