Sorry ol lain, going a little crazy but I think the atmosphere of this so-called independence celebrations (I mean seriously! 37 years after being around for over 4000 years-SHEEESH!!!) are getting to me.
Is the economic situation in Papua New Guinea so desperate that we have to resort to Experimental Seabed Mining in order to survive? Is the risk worth taking? Is it worth sacrificing the health of our solwara so that OTHER PEOPLE can benefit at the expense of OUR PEOPLE?
The answers that many Papua New Guineans of expertise and experience have given over and over again is a simple NO! Seabed Mining shouldn’t be an option until the risks are studied carefully.
That was echoed in many different words, ways, sounds yesterday afternoon at a forum organized by a ‘bunch of university students with some Milne Bay people’ that call themselves FourMassim (looks and titles can be so deceiving). Students from the following associations: Milne Bay, New Ireland, East New Britain, Bougainville, Manus and New Guinea Islands Union united, and worked together to organize this public awareness forum titled “The Realities of Seabed Mining in PNG”.
They researched, planned, organized and hosted an event that a member of parliament (Gary Juffa) and several experts (Professor Chalapan Kaluwin, Dr Mana, Mr Nongkas etc) thought important enough to give up three hours of their time to attend and contribute to. Unfortunately the one organization that everyone hoping would attend didn’t send any representative at all. tsk tsk tsk Nautilus!!!! The students to say the least were bitterly disapointed as some of them had not yet formed an opinion on the experimental seabed mining issue.
Professor Chalapan Kaluwin began the speeches by giving his expert take on the Environmental and Geographical aspects of experimental seabed mining. Personally I thought his statement,
“As a scientist, before carrying out any project, you begin by applying the precautionary principle AND then you ASK yourself if what you’re doing is worth the risk?” was the most resonating one. What in the world seriously are we coming to when so many times over and over we have been taught that mining – no matter how safe, how controlled and how little the damage is supposed to be both environmentally and socially – MINING does not make a community happier! FULL STOP! And that is not taking into account the potential for accidents.
Then of course our favourite people-oriented Governor for Oro Province Gary Juffa with his statement,
“We have cheapened our nation with the Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Leases, the LNG, Joel Tjandara and now with Experimental Seabed Mining.”
Now lets switch gears completely.
Hope is one of those things that make you pick yourself up after you’ve been spear-tackled-down and trampled all over. If you don’t ascribe to a higher being, all you have to keep you putting one foot in front of the other after being mauled is hope. “Cuz I’m hopeful, yes I am, hopeful for today!” (OST – Coach Carter, Twista feat Faith Evans). That song kept echoing in my head as I walked into the MLT at the UPNG yesterday afternoon and I think that will be my anthem for these ‘bunch of university students with those Milne Bay people that organized this event.
I have got to say that after yesterday’s forum I finally have hope for my tumbunas (descendants). Hope that maybe the future of PNG is better than today, that PNG will not be governed and ruled foreign corporations.
Ironically we were prematurely kicked out of MLT because a Community Empowerment #101 lecture beckoned!*MLT – The Main Lecture Theater *UPNG – University of Papua New Guinea