Pacific Elders Call Halt to Seabed Mining

Date: 1 March 2022

Source: Island Times

Author: Leilani Reklai

Pacific Elders’ Voice (PEV) called for a halt to deep-sea mining mining until “proper regulatory instruments can be put in place,” and recommends a regional expert body be created to provide expert advice to Pacific Island countries.

statement issued by PEV said that renewed demand for minerals, especially those to be used in batteries for energy storage, has led to partnerships between mining consortiums and several Pacific countries.

Earlier this week, Moana Minerals Limited announced it had been awarded an exploration licence by the Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority.

“The PEV is concerned about the lack of scientific and technical information, in particular, a lack of regulatory capacity on processes for deep-sea mining, and its negative environmental and social impacts to adequately manage and control this type of mining.  It is a fact that most of the Pacific Island countries contemplating seabed mining do not have the capacity to effectively monitor such mining operations in which they may be involved,” PEV’s letter of concern said.

The Pacific Elders’ Voice comprises former presidents Hilda Heine of Marshall Islands, Tommy Remengessau Jr of Palau, Anote Tong of Kiribati; Tuvalu’s former prime minister Enele Sopoaga; former secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor, and Dr Robert Underwood, former congressman and retired president of the University of Guam.

Read the article in full here

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