19 Nov 2008

NGO critical of PNG's mining monitoring

12:24 pm on 19 November 2008

A Papua New Guinea NGO says the Government has got its priorities wrong for mining developments.

The country is experiencing a mining boom but Matilda Koma, of the Centre for Environmental Research and Development, says the Government is totally focussed on the money that can be earned by projects.

PNG has a long record of environmental destruction, widespread social dislocation and ill-feeling due to mining.

But Ms Koma says the only vetting is through an initial environmental impact report produced by the mining company involved, with little ongoing monitoring of this by government agencies.

She says there should be environmental officers based at mine sites.

"At the moment there is nothing at all. There is no independent evaluation, no audits or so, done for environmental issues, that are, at the moment handled especially by mining companies to do the monitoring. They just hand reports over to the Department of Environment and Conservation, but we as the general public feel that they have less capacity to actually evaluate properly or audit properly."

Matilda Koma