A CIVIL lawsuit may be imminent in a bid to stop seabed mining.
This was revealed by the chairman of the Madang People’s Forum John Simoi yesterday prior to his departure to Port Moresby.
While details regarding this proposed action were scarce, it is understood this will be done with outside assistance from civil society organisations including from neighbouring island nations who were reportedly equally concerned about this activity and its possible effects.
It is understood a reputable law firm from a first world country has been engaged for this legal challenge. Mr Simoi said it was unfortunate that he had to leave at a time when an important meeting, the inaugural PNG maritime roundtable talks, was being convened as he would have personally welcomed the opportunity to hear what maritime governors had to say about sea-bed mining and on the deep sea tailings placement system allowed by government and which was being trialled in Madang by the developer of the muli-million kina Ramu Nickel project.
He said it would have been interesting to hear how the governors intended to address this issue, especially its effects.
He said it was not a good sign that this project was being allowed to go head when there were no laws in place governing the operation and impacts of sea bed mining and the deep sea tailings system.
Mr Simoi questioned how government leaders could talk about conservation of the seas and the marine life when they were allowing these activities and lacked necessary laws to minimise the impacts.
“The toxic wastes will no doubt destroy the seas and adversely affect our environment and I would like to urge the governors attending this meeting and government to think seriously and constructively about these issues,” Mr Simoi said.
“They need not look far as they have the experiences of OK Tedi, Tolokuma and even Misima to draw on.We have no proper laws and policies in place yet government is approving and giving licenses to mining companies to come in and operate.”
Mr Simoi said he was worried that despite advise against sea bed mining the government would allow this project to go ahead.
“Many people including my people on Bagabag Island depend heavily on the seas for our livelihood and we are concerned of the effects these activities will have on it,” he said. Pacific Mining Watch/Post Courier