“I say ban seabed mining.”
“I would do this instantly if I were the prime minister, said Northern Province governor Gary Juffa.
Governor Juffa said that he supported calls by Cardinal John Ribat and said that deep sea mining is an effort that many senior scientists warn against given the fact that the consequences are largely unknown.
“Sensitive ecosystems and life forms that the world barely knows about are in grave danger from this profit-driven endeavor.
“The economic benefits to PNG are miniscule and do not justify the dangers posed by this project.”
“Meanwhile, it’s legality is questionable given that there are no existing laws that would permit or license this activity.
“The current situation is such that the project is driven by politicians who have totally ignored the interests of their country and people by putting their own interest before everyone else. “
“20,000 signatures representing communities to be affected around PNG, including the project site where the minister is from, were affixed to a petition delivered to Minister for Mining Byron Chan on 11 October 2012 at the Holiday Inn, he said.
“I was there.”
“The minister claimed he would respond to the people in two weeks and failed to do so until today.
“Instead of listening to the people, the government took the side of the developer.
“This is totally improper for any government to ignore the very people whose interests it is supposed to be protecting.”
“It is also totally disturbing that one of the executives of the company involved in Nautilus Limited was also an executive of failed mining venture in Eastern Highlands, were a cyanide spill had poisoned waters there and killed a number of people.
“There was a court case that suddenly died away, and we now see the executive back in charge of another mining venture.
“Such people should be prosecuted and punished and blacklisted, he added.
“Meanwhile, I believe that it’s time countries from where these companies come from take a more responsible approach and see what their companies are doing abroad and hold them accountable.”
“For instance, if the laws in the host country do not allow such a venture, therefore it should not be allowed to do that in any other nation to any other people or environment.”
“The laws in Canada would never allow Nautilus to mine their seabed.
“Why? Because of possible environmental damage and infringement on the rights of its citizens and so forth. So why let them do this in PNG?
“Are the people of PNG not entitled to the same rights? Is not the environment of the waters in PNG not connected to this world and therefore Canada too?
“Let us be more globally conscious of the impact of companies on the people and environment of the world.
“These developed nations should be more responsible for what their companies are doing rather then be silent and apathetic, Governor Juffa added.