1 Jul 2008

PNG Indigenous council petitions government to halt sea-bed mining

8:19 pm on 1 July 2008

A newly formed Council of Indigenous people in Papua New Guinea is petitioning the government to suspend sea-bed mining in their territorial seas.

The Bismark and Solomon Seas Indigenous Peoples Council, which was established last month, includes a range of NGO, church and academic representatives from Manus, Madang and New Ireland provinces.

Their petition seeks to halt deep sea mining developments in their region by Canadian company, Nautilus Minerals which has an exploration license frmo the governent.

However the Council's chair, Wence Magun, says there's no research to prove sea-bed mining doesn't devastate the environment.

He says the livelihood and culture of local people is based around the seas and to ensure its survival the council intends taking the matter to the international stage.

"We'll be looking for a response frmo the United Nations and frmo the government, not just our current government, because there is a trend for mining companies and logging companies and all the industries in this country to bulldoze their intentions through the government and the voices of the little people are not being considered."

Wence Magun