Ban experimental seabed mining: Church

Luke Kama | The National aka The Loggers Times | June 1, 2017

THE Catholic church is calling on the Government to ban deep sea mining in the country.

President of the Federation of the Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania Cardinal Sir John Ribat and general secretary Father Victor Roche said such technology should not be tested in PNG waters.

The 17 Catholic Bishops from PNG and one administrator from the Solomon Islands who attended their annual general meeting recently discussed the proposed seabed mining called Solwara One and Solwara Two close to the shores of PNG.

“We were informed that the machines belonging to the company Nautilus have arrived already in Port Moresby and are ready to go ahead with the testings of technology for seabed mining in the waters of PNG,” Sir John said.

“This will be the first of its kind for such technology to be tested in PNG and if successful, the actual seabed mining will be done in many parts of Pacific with the agreement of the different island countries and that is a great concern.”

He said responsible use of the environment and resources was a duty and task, for everyone.

And the Catholic bishops support the coastal people and the groups who raised their voice to question the proposed seabed mining.

“What kind of international agreement permits foreign companies to engage in practices and processes which in their own country are illegal?

“The sea is a treasure for all and should never become a playground of exploitation. Seabed mining will cause direct physical destruction of the unique ecosystems and in terms of benefits, we have many mining operating on the land and the landowners, the people are still disadvantaged.

“Now we are trying to dig from the sea and what guarantee of satisfaction and benefits will the people and the country reap to satisfy?

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Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Pacific region, Papua New Guinea

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