Non-government organizations in the Pacific fear statements from a regional body at the United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro last week, suggest an abandoning of the precautionary principle on seabed mining.
The director of the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission or SOPAC, Dr Russell Howarth, is reported to have said - that the lack of full scientific data should not be used as a reason for postponing seabed mining developments.
Effrey Dademo from the Papua New Guinea NGO Act Now says that undermines the precautionary principle that stops any development until scientific evidence is produced that shows no harm will result.
"Our concern is that it is new and we don't have full scientific data so we need to approach it with caution and such statements are being made in the way that 'oh yeah well we can do it now and study it later' and basically that's what they're saying."
The Act Now programme manager, Effrey Dademo.