24 000 (and the number is growing) Papua New Guineans SAY NO TO SEABED MINING!


Media Release:
24,000 Say No to Experimental Seabed Mining

From New Ireland, to Milne Bay, Papua New Guineans, have risen up to say NO Seabed Mining in Papua New Guinea. More than 24,000 Papua New Guineans from across Papua New Guinea have called on the O’Neil-­‐Dion government to stop seabed mining in Papua New Guinea until the Papua New Guinea Government conducts further research into the impact on their environment and source of food.

In a Petition jointly received by the Regional Member and Governor for Oro, Honorable Gary Juffa (MP), the Member for Namatanai Open and Minister for Mining, Honorable Byron Chan (MP), Managing Director for MRA, Phillip Samar, Acting Secretary for Department of Mineral Policy and Geo-­‐hazards, , representatives from 6 maritime provinces expressed concern of how seabed mining has been fast-­‐tracked without scientific studies independent of the company.

Local advocacy and student groups, Landowner and resource owner groups, public servants, sea-­‐ dependent villagers, Academics, Members of Parliament, Civil Society Groups and the Catholic Bishops Conference, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea have over the course of 2012 have all called for caution and an end to this evil project.

In a co-­‐coordinated effort, advocacy groups including 4Massim, ACT NOW! Bismarck Ramu Group, Bismarck-­‐Solomon Sea Indigenous People’s Council, East New Britain Sosel Eksen Komiti, Madang Peoples Forum, Mas Kagin Tapani, held Forums, spoke out in the media, lobbied their local MPs and a pushed paper petition launched by ACT NOW in early 2012, in an attempt to amplify the concerns of local people.

Students from the University of Natural Resources and Environment staged a peaceful protest against seabed mining in Kokopo on 11th October 2012, while the New Guinea Islands Union of UPNG held a public Forum against seabed at the University of Papua New Guinea In September this year.

Legal opinion obtained by a coalition of local advocacy groups, including ACT NOW! reveals seabed mining will breach the legal ‘Precautionary Principle’. The precautionary principle dictates taking a cautious approach in matters that affect the environment when there is scientific uncertainty about the negative impacts. The principle is widely used in international environmental law and has been applied in the courts in areas such as climate change, hazardous waste, fisheries and sustainable development.

The coastal people of Papua New Guinea have had a strong spiritual and physical connection to their seas, as they do for land. Local rituals and other ceremonies in these communities have the potential of being disturbed, yet no assessment of these impacts have considered by Government of Papua New Guinea. The Environmental Impact Statement of Nautilus Minerals was reviewed in 2009 and the flaws are such that recommendations had been made then not to approve it. This however has been ignored.

The Mineral Resources Authority argues that it has conducted consultations with stakeholders including landowners. The fact is there has been resistance from coastal communities since 2008 at various mine wardens hearing, including written correspondence from various concerned resource groups with relevant authorities. The fact is that the government and its regulatory body has failed in it duty to do due diligence checks. In Villages along the West Coast of New Ireland, 2 Teams of MRA and Nautilus officials were told to “get out”

Meanwhile, the economic benefits of these proposed projects seem to be minute compared to the potential risks. Papua New Guinea mainland is saturated with current and potential mines, that deep-­‐ sea mining is not necessary.


Signed by the following national CSO advocacy groups in collaboration with tertiary Students Associations, Provincial CSO groups and Coastal communities of New Ireland, East New Britain, Madang and Milne Bay Provinces:

Bismarck Ramu Group
Bismarck Solomon Sea Indigenous People’s Council ACT NOW! png
East New Britain Sosel Eksen Komiti
Madang People’s Forum
Zero Inc
Mas Kagin Tapani
Karkar Island Lutheran Youth Group.