Author: Koroi Hawkins
Representatives of Pacific civil society and conservation groups are calling on the New Zealand government to show regional leadership and support a moratorium on deep sea mining.
They were speaking in an online forum on deep sea mining hosted last week by the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Fiji-based deputy coordinator for the Pacific Network on Globalisation and the Pacific Blue Line initiative, Joey Tau, said protecting the Pacific Ocean is both a moral and ethical responsibility.
“We really need to call out deep sea mining as an industry or an experiment that is heavily speculative in nature. It is one that is a fundraiser and one that we really need to call out as it is,” Tau said.
Phil McCabe, the Pacific regional lead on deep sea mining for the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, summed up the three key areas of concern being expressed across wide ranging groups that are calling for a moratorium, being a lack of scientific knowledge, unavoidable environmental harm and the urgent need for reform of the regulating body, the International Seabed Authority.
“There is a clear call coming from civil society across the region. Those who spoke, who have shared, they are representative of communities across the region and it is a clear call from them for action from New Zealand and leadership from New Zealand.
“This is an ethical issue, it’s an issue of moral action, taking the right path here for future generations.”
The Pacific Liason for the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, Phil McCabe (Right) and international legal advisor Duncan Currie. Photo: VNP / Phil Smith