On Tuesday 24 May a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil societies were outside the Annual Deep Sea Mining Summit calling for a ban on seabed mining. The group wants the European Commission to recognise potentially destructive deep sea mining in the Pacific Ocean. The event took place outside The Cumberland Hotel in London.
The Australian-based Deep Sea Mining Campaign was joined by London Mining Network, The Gaia Foundation and War on Want, outside the Annual Deep Sea Mining in solidarity with the Alliance of Solwara Warriors and communities across the Pacific that are calling on the EU to stop funding such reckless development activities and for a complete ban on seabed mining.
The South Pacific is currently the world’s laboratory for the experiment of seabed mining. With 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.
For over five years, Pacific communities, NGO’s, academics and scientists have been questioning the validity of this experimental “frontier” industry. Scientific research into impacts is extremely limited and provides no assurance that the health of marine life, coastal communities and the fisheries on which they depend can be guaranteed. What is certain is that impacts will be associated with each step of the mining process.
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