Tag Archives: Solwara Warriors

Alliance of Solwara Warriors to object exploration license

Loop PNG | February 25, 2018

The Alliance of Solwara Warriors* will submit their objections to Exploration License 1196 (EL 1196) to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) on February 26.

EL 1196 is situated on traditional shing and ceremonial waters of West Coast Namatanai in New Ireland Province and Duke of York Islands in East New Britain Province.

In a statement, the Alliance of Solwara Warriors said:

“As maritime communities whose wellbeing and quality of life depend on the health of the sea, we were not consulted before licenses and leases were awarded by the National Government for seabed mining project in the country.

“We were not given the opportunity to exercise our rights as stated in the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people on Free Prior Informed Consent.

“We also recognise through our local and traditional knowledge of tides and currents that many of our communities will face disastrous impacts if this experiment of seabed mining continues.

“Recent natural disasters such as the Kadovar eruption have highlighted the ine ciency of national authorities to respond to disasters.”

The Alliance said carrying the voices of their communities, they call on the Mining Minister, Johnson Tuke, to recognise and acknowledge that they are not ‘external groups’.

“We are the custodians of the sea!”

Furthermore, the Alliance has thanked the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC PNG), Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC), Caritas PNG, the PNG Council of Churches (PNGCC) and the Pacific Council of Churches (PCC) and His Eminence, Cardinal John Ribat, for recognising and acknowledging them as the custodians of the sea.

* The Alliance of Solwara Warriors is a growing group of communities and supporters from Madang, East New Britain, New Ireland, Manus and Milne Bay Provinces

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From the Pacific to London: Ban experimental seabed mining

pacific to london

LONDON: This morning, NGOs and civil society are outside the 5th Annual Deep Sea Mining Summit calling for a ban on a potentially environmentally destructive “frontier” industry. They are calling on the EU to stop funding such reckless development activities and are standing in solidarity with NGOs, churches and community across the Pacific.

Natalie Lowrey, from the Australian based Deep Sea Mining campaign stated, “The South Pacific is currently the world’s laboratory for the experiment of seabed mining. With over over 1.5 million square kilometres of ocean floor already under exploration leasehold the world’s first licence to operate a deep sea mine has been granted in Papua New Guinea to Canadian company Nautilus Minerals Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea.”

The Alliance of Solwara Warriors, which is made up of over 20 communities and organisations across the Bismarck and Solomon Seas, are making a stand to ‘Ban Seabed Mining’ in PNG and the Pacific.

Patrick Kaupun, from the Alliance of Solwara Warriors stated, “We call on Papua New Guineans and allies internationally to stand up and defend the Bismarck Sea and all other seas under threat from seabed mining. Our government and Nautilus Minerals have not got the people’s free prior and informed consent. The sea is our life. We exist because the sea exists. We will not continue to remain quiet and passive. We have a responsibility to those generations that come after us; to those yet unborn.”

Janet Tokupep, also from the Alliance of Solwara Warriors said, “Judging from the monster size of the machines that will be tested in our seas, there is no question that this new “frontier” industry will destroy our environment and communities in PNG and the Pacific. With such serious liabilities in the face of an untested and untried industry, including the fact that we currently have terrible track records of terrestrial mining, seabed mining is a disastrous investment.”

Joseph Lambert from London based organisation, The Gaia Foundation said, ‘This highly experimental mining is being rushed ahead with more concern for profit than the damage it will do to the environment and communities. Our oceans are already facing unprecedented warming and acidification; when we should be caring for it most, mining companies are devising new ways to pollute it.’

recent report from the World Bank stated that Pacific Island countries should take precaution over any plans for mining of their seabed’s due to a high risk of irreversible damage to their ecosystems. This calls into question EU funding towards the development of seabed mining in the Pacific, an industry which would be unacceptable in its own member countries. 

“This is 21st Century colonialism”, explained Lowrey. “By funding and endorsing this experimental extractive industry, the EU are complicit in continuing the ‘empire’ tradition in which it believes it should be free to rape and pillage the Pacific for its own profit.”

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Solwara Warriors want govt to ban experimental seabed mining

solwara warriors seabed mining

PNG Loop

The recently formed Alliance of Solwara Warriors is demanding the government of PNG to ban experimental seabed mining in PNG.

Nautilus Minerals is scheduled to start its experimental seabed mining production in 2018.

Since 2008, from Madang to New Ireland and East New Britain provinces, people have been calling on the government to stop experimental seabed mining in PNG. Because the government has ignored these concerns Nautilus Minerals has pushed ahead testing the technologies which they plan to use.

Nautilus Minerals is rushing to 2018 without addressing issues raised in various petitions through non-government organisations, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG as well as the peoples of the West Coast of New Ireland and East New Britain Provinces.

Speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Solwara Warriors, Melchoir Ware said:

“We will not let the government continue to ignore us. The sea is our life. We exist because the sea exists. We will not continue to remain quiet and passive. We have a responsibility to those generations that come after us; to those yet unborn.”

The Alliance of Solwara Warriors is calling on all PNGeans to stand up and defend the Bismarck Sea and all other seas under threat from seabed mining.

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Communities unite as Solwara Warriors against seabed mining

2012 9-30 PM

Radio New Zealand | 26 April 2016

Community based organisations in the areas surrounding Papua New Guinea’s Bismarck Sea have united against seabed mining.

The PNG Solwara Warriors collective is made up of more than 20 organisations from Madang, New Britain, Manus and New Ireland.

One of the front’s leaders, Patrick Kaupun, told Koroi Hawkins the decision to unite came after numerous individual petitions to the government by the respective organisations fell on deaf ears.

PATRICK KAUPUN: We are actually asking the Papua New Guinea government to ban seabed mining. We totally disagree and don’t want sea bed mining in the Bismarck Sea. So we are asking the Papua New Guinea government to totally ban sea bed mining in our waters, our seas.

KOROI HAWKINS: And how many groups are now involved in the Solwara Warriors Group?

PK: We are a total of 20 plus groups which are actually groups from within the Bismarck Area who are actually taking this stand.

KH: It seems amazing that despite this united sort of front against the mining operation or the proposed mining operation, the government continues to go ahead with it?

PK: Well it is quite interesting it is under the PNG government reform systems that we should have got this bottom up planning and people’s free prior [and informed] consent. And all those things were not done and it was actually top down. That is why we actually, are standing for our rights, for our democracy and for our country. 

KH: And is there any planned action that the PNG Solwara Warriors group is considering in the months and weeks ahead?

PK: Yes we have 20 months from now until 2018 and we are actually planning to come up with a petition that actually represents the overall landowners who live around the whole Bismarck area to come up with one petition and then we have other planned programmes in different provinces which we will use them as a venue to push against sea bed mining.

KH: And has there been any consultation at all from government or from the company itself, in terms of getting to the stage they have got? It seems to be at a rather advanced stage now.

PK: Well the company and the government actually they have, they are working with certain communities. Community groups, which these community groups have been listening to them for the past years during their awareness and all that but they are actually they were promising people and then it turned out that most recently. Early this year they actually declared that people will have no benefit in the sea bed mining. Which that happened in New Ireland. In other areas they actually did not know but this meeting actually got us to actually understand the language that the government and Nautilus were actually using in many different areas in and around the Bismarck Sea.

KH: So the actual benefits to the people in the areas to be mined are actually minimal?

PK: Yes definitely.

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