Tag Archives: Karkar Island

Karkar Islanders against seabed mining: Leader

Brian Kramer at the event at UPNG

Jemimah Sukbat  | Loop PNG | December 2, 2017

Karkar Island has joined New Guinea Islanders in the fight against seabed mining.

This was the message from senior statesman Sir Arnold Amet.

His message was relayed by Member for Madang Brian Kramer at the School of Natural and Physical Sciences forum at UPNG’s main lecture theatre recently.

Kramer, who was just there as an observer, relayed Sir Arnold’s written speech as he was unable to attend the forum.

Sir Arnold says the Karkar Island, where he comes from, is located in the western part of the Bismarck Sea. Therefore, he and the islanders are pledging their support in the stand against the development of seabed mining.

He said the project will be the world’s first deep sea mine operation and a high level of uncertainty surrounds it.

Furthermore, the mine is situated on traditional fishing grounds thus it threatens the villagers’ main source of income, food and the tourism industry.

The mine is 25km from Kono and Messi villages of west coast New Ireland. It is also 40km from the Duke of York Island of East New Britain.

In 2012, PNG decided to issue the world’s first commercial mining licence to Canadian mining company, Nautilus Minerals Inc, to mine the Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea.

The project is expected to be a reality in 2019.

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Lutherans Walk 9 days Across Highlands Region Campaigning Against Experimental Seabed Mining


Rachel Shisei | EMTV News | 23 November 2016

It took 9 days and an estimated total of 261 kilometres, for a group of Lutherans, to walk four Highlands provinces.

Their outreach awareness focused on the issues affecting ‘God’s creations’, or the natural resources in the country. The campaign specifically aimed at the Experimental Seabed Mining project, the only kind in the world licensed by the government, to operate in the country.

“We are not in favor of this ‘experimental’ seabed mining project to happen in the country, so we’re including and doing awareness in our outreach. If we don’t do it, who else will?” said Pastor Matei Ibak, the Lutheran Youth Bible Study Master.

Ibak said, despite speaking about the ‘sea’ to people of the Highlands provinces; most people were in tears when the youth group from Karkar Island performed dramas and songs, expressing the importance of the sea to their livelihood, and country as a whole. This, he said, is a sign that people agree, that things are going the wrong way and may become worse, if nothing is done in time.

Former Chief Justice, a Karkar Islander and a Lutheran churchgoer himself, Sir Arnold Amet weighed in on the issue saying that in terms of awareness, the government has a lot more work to do to help the people understand the environmental; biological; and oceanographic impacts that the mining activity can have on the sea once disturbed.

“The potential impact upon the sea life is still uncertain so I am expressing the view against the project from continuing until those issues are fully explained to the people.

Sir Amet said, it is very vital that for such projects, the whole government, regardless of the various departments and levels of government, should unite and respond in accordance.

“There’s a lack of united response that results in many issues remaining outstanding until disasters strike,” said Sir Amet.

Pastor Ibak pointed out, that their awareness is not based only on the Lutheran faith, but promoting Christianity as a whole in the country; that in the beginning God created the earth, and gave man his first duty to look after the land and everything on it.

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Island Women: We Don’t Want Seabed Mining Ever

Little Green Palai

Leias Cullwick

Vanuatu National Council of Women President, Leias Cullwick

Just the thought of mining the seafloor in Melanesia is not sitting well with two women from Melanesia.

From Vanuatu, the new president of the Vanuatu National Council of Women, Mrs. Leias Cullwick is still firm on the Vanuatu women’s call to stop exploration and mining on the seafloor in Vanuatu.

“Why do even want to talk about seabed mining?” she asks. “We don’t want to hear about it. We don’t want to talk about it. Some things are meant to be left alone!  And for Vanuatu we will not support this project!

Mrs. Cullwick said the seafloor is God’s footstool. Why are we even going there? God is providing richly for us so why do we want to destroy this richness? She says, as air in some industrialized countries has become thick and heavy and not fit for humans, the Pacific is a place that will save the world because of its rich and clean environment. Mining the seafloor will destroy what’s left of the ecosystem since land based resources are harvested at a very fast rate.

In Papua New Guinea, Karkar Islander Ms. Nenisa Ibak, an ordinary island woman and an active Karkar Island youth leader is still calling on Mining Minister Byron Chan to be a man and to respect the wishes of the people especially the women and children.

Nenisa & Juffa02

Ms Nenisa Ibak with Oro Governor Gary Juffa and civil society groups during the 2012 experimental seabed mining petition presentation in Port Moresby

Ms. Ibak said, in 2012 through ActNow PNG, 9,200 Karkar Islanders petitioned him to stop seabed mining. This call is still standing and more Karkar Islanders are joining this call.

“We are islanders. The sea is our land. It provides food and everything we need for our sustenance. Seabed mining will destroy us even if mining is happening miles away, the impact will still get to us.”

Mrs Cullwick said, our governments have not yet been able to manage well what we already have; our forests, our land, and our resources so our call is for them to get our houses in order first before we even think about projects that will require foreign knowledge and skills.

Starting tomorrow in Sydney the Papua New Guinea Mines and Petroleum Department will be hosting its investment conference in the hope of bringing more investors to mine in Papua New Guinea.

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Karkar Island Youth Maintain Resistance Against Seabed Mining

No, we will not accept seabed mining experiments anywhere in our sea, exclaimed the young people of Karkar Island in Madang.

Karkar island youth holding banner

We have said this before and we repeat we will not let this monster Nautilus Minerals trespass in our sea.

And no we are not far from Solwara 1 as some people want us to believe. We know when one part of the sea is hurt the rest of the sea will mourn with it.

These strong statements came out during the Karkar Is Lutheran Youth Conference on Karkar Island two weeks ago. More than 300 young people from all over Karkar Island attended this meeting.

We are calling on the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stop this project, they said.

Flashing their banner across their meeting place, it had 3 messages with the main one, “9,200 Karkar Islanders still say no to experimental seabed mining.” These 9,200 were part of the 24,000 petitioners last year.

Spokesperson for the group Nenisa Ibak said, “God put us on this island to take care of his creation. He has filled the sea with everything to help us. Nautilus is not only going to destroy the seafloor, it will destroy us human beings as well.”

Another woman said, “the island provides for us and the sea also provides. During dry seasons we depend on the sea for water as well. Our children play and learn to fish and gather food in the sea. It is also their classroom. It teaches them survival skills.”

These young people said, “we are not stopping. We will make sure our church leaders hear about this and take this up at the upcoming Lutheran church synod.”

This week these young people continue their actions on the ground and are preparing an education tour around their island.

Karkar Island has a population of nearly 50,000 and with the changing weather patterns they understand tampering with the sea can impact on their lives badly.

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Karkar Islanders not happy with experimental seabed mining


If this will cost us our lives, our children’s and our children’s children’s lives and so on, is it still called development to you? The people of Karkar Island, the biggest Island in the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea want to know why the PNG Government is choosing money over their lives by allowing the Canadian-owned company ‘Nautilus’ to rape and rip the sea bed, our mother apart. The people are pissed and want the Mining Minister Byron Chan, who received more than 24, 000 signatures from around the country petitioned to the government against Experimental Seabed Mining to answer. Of the 24, 000, more than 9, 000 signatures are the Karkar Islanders’.

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Nautilus yu Nauti-lusman

Arnold Jameson

‘Lusman’ in the PNG context may mean, a lazy person who preys onothers and what’s theirs. He/she owns nothing so he/she’s ready to take anything and everything, even at the expense of others suffering to make herself/himself look good.  With that, the people of Karkar Island, the biggest island in the Madang Province of Papua New Guineasaid, “Yu Lusman!” to the Canadian-owned company Nautilus, for continuing to pursue mining the Seabed.

community demonstration against ESM

“Who do you think you are to walk in and take what we need for our survival for the gain of your stupid wealth games? The sea and everything in it is shared by us all who live by it, but you want to destroy it to benefit yourself with not a care in the world about how many of our men, women and children you will cold bloodedly murder.”

community hold banners protesting against mining

That’s from the people who were also frustrated with the PNG Government for thinking ‘money’ all the time, and not human lives.

“This is an invisible war that our Government miserably failed to see because of the greed for money to fill its own pocket. The Government that we trust and put in the ‘hausman’ (men house) to protect and defend us has sold us off to the enemy. We call you enemy Nauti-lusman, because you are willing to create a massacre out of us and you don’t care how that plays out for each one of us, so we will do what’s in our power to stop you,” they said. Of the 24, 000 signatures against the Experimental Seabed Mining, these people of Karkar Island signed the most.

Their question to the Prime Minister; If this is clearly going to cost our lives, is it still called development Mr Peter O’Neil?

community ptotest against seabed mining


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