10 Apr 2007

Open letter highlights biodiversity risks posed by New Caledonian mining projects

1:39 pm on 10 April 2007

A researcher in New Caledonia is calling for a major independent study into the environmental effects of mining in the territory, warning that there could be a disaster for the biodiversity of the territory.

The scientist of the Noumea branch of the IRD institute, Dr Bertrand Richer de Forges, wrote an open letter, saying no significant studies have been made and up to one hundred endemic species are threatened and may disappear as a result of the mining operations.

Dr Richer de Forges says there seems to be a consensus among mining operators, authorities and research organisations to keep silent about this.

He says an independent study would help all New Caledonians to make an informed decision on whether to conserve these species or let them disappear.

His challenge is directed at the Goro Nickel project in the territory's south.