2 Mar 2011

NGO's say Pacific should not be used as testing ground for deep sea mining

2:26 pm on 2 March 2011

Campaigners in the Pacific say the region should not be used as a testing ground for deep-sea mining and they are calling for more debate.

In January the Papua New Guinea government awarded a Canadian company the world's first deep-sea mining lease in the Bismarck Sea.

The European Union's also announced plans to help Pacific Island countries develop laws and policies around such operations.

But Maureen Penjueli of the Pacific Network on Globalisation says there's been no debate so far on whether deep sea mining is good for the region.

"We simply don't think the countries have the resources, the capacity or the experience to be managing and monitoring such a large project particularly in an area where we know very little about the impact of such a large project going ahead."

Maureen Penjueli says Pacific Island countries have had an alternative development model forced upon them by outsiders and it's not working.