Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (PIANGO) has called Pacific Islands government to ban seabed mining due to the risk it presents to marine environment.
According to PIANGO’s executive director Emele Duituturaga, it is becoming increasingly clear that the blue growth narrative by international organisations includes seabed mining despite threats to fisheries and ocean livelihoods in the region.
She said there is greater awareness now that biodiversity and life under the sea will be affected and these minerals that have taken thousands of years to deposit will be extracted without replenishment.
“Therefore we are urging our governments to be responsible on this issue and not make hasty decisions, have a clear understanding of what is involved,” Duituturaga said.
The recently held three-day capacity building workshop on deep seabed mining was a part of a process of preparing countries that are members of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the 1982 UN Convention on the law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for the ISA’s Regulation on Deep Seabed Mining (DSM) to be put in place in 2020.
PIANGO was represented at the workshop by deputy executive director Emeline Ilolahia
“This workshop is pedaling deep sea mining to our governments but who will benefit? If mining was the panacea to the economic issues of the Pacific, we’d have solved all our problems long ago. Instead the environmental and social impacts of mining have made our peoples poorer,” Duituturaga concluded.