Pacific island nations again lead the way in protecting the ocean
Aug 25, 2023

Pacific island nations again lead the way in protecting the ocean

By EJF Staff

Responding to the Uduane Declaration on climate change by members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Steve Trent, CEO and Founder of the Environmental Justice Foundation, said: “This declaration shows that, once again, Pacific nations are leading the way in tackling the climate crisis and protecting the ocean, from single-use plastics to deep-sea mining. The Group has set an example for many other nations by highlighting how little is known about the impacts deep-sea mining would cause, and committing not to undertake it in their waters. Their call for a Pacific-wide moratorium should be heeded and taken up around the world.

In particular, we should all welcome Papua New Guinea’s commitment to stopping deep-sea mining, as a nation which knows the damage this industry causes better than anyone. Papua New Guinea was the site of the disastrous Solwara 1 deep-sea mining project, which cost the nation millions of dollars - equivalent to almost a third of its annual health budget - and disrupted traditional fishing techniques, spiritual practices and ways of life before it collapsed into bankruptcy.

Every nation should listen to the warnings of Solwara 1, recognise this industry promises riches and will deliver ruin, and come out in support of a moratorium now. Deep-sea mining would destroy ecosystems we cannot afford to lose, in search of minerals we do not need, at a price we cannot pay. It would accelerate social injustices and disrupt vital fisheries, benefitting a handful of mining companies at great cost to everyone else. It must not be allowed to take place.”


Notes for editors

The Environmental Justice Foundation is an international non-governmental organisation working to protect the environment and defend human rights. EJF is a charity registered in England and Wales (1088128).

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