Please help stop a new disaster in the Pacific - seabed mining

15.02.2012: Online-Mitmachaktion

Please help stop a new disaster in the Pacific - seabed mining There is a new environmental and human rights catestrophy looming in the Pacific and we need to stop it happening! Experimental seabed mining is being pushed by foreign companies despite the risks of an environmental disaster and the fact it is not a sustainable development option for indigenous peoples. Civil society groups across the Pacific are calling on their leaders to slow down on this dangerous and untried new industry - but they need YOUR support. Please help by sending an email now - Experimental seabed mining will completely destroy underwater hydrothermal vents. These vents contain mineral deposits but are also rich and unique eco-systems which contain many species which are yet to be discovered and which scientists believe could hold the secrets to the origins of life [1] The mining will also involve the transport, stockpiling, trans-shipment and processing of mineral ores and produce millions of tons of toxic wastes, all of which will occur close to remote coastal communities that rely heavily on a healthy sea for their diet and income. While the mining is being hyped as a good for island nations, indigenous poeple in countries like Papua New Guinea have not seen any tangible benefits from decades of mining on the land and have suffered a number of environmental disasters and a civil war as a result [2].


The International Seabed Authority has warned of the need to take a precautionary approach to the mining of hydrothermal vents because there are still so many unknowns [3], but the European Union is sponsoring a project to legitimize and fast-track experimental seabed mining in the Pacific region [4] and Papua New Guinea has recently approved the world's first seabed mining operation [5], despite the opposition of local communities [6]. Both Tonga and Nauru have also issued exploration licences in international waters and Fiji will soon issue its own seabed mining licence. There are significant unanswered questions about the socio-cultural and environmental impacts of seabed mining and of its underlying science. Yet the experimental mining is being fast-tracked without the benefit of adequate scientific debates nor any prior public dialogue and meaningful community participation. Industry and governments have abandoned the application of a precautionary approach and any pretence of balancing profits with conservation, human rights, scientific knowledge and sustainable development.

PLEASE send an email and help indigenous communities protect their environment and way of life -