18 Mar 2013

Fiji conference discusses region's mineral extraction

3:18 pm on 18 March 2013

The United Nations Development Programme's Resident Representative in the Pacific says mineral extraction in the region could do more harm than good if it is not managed properly.

Knut Ostby says a number of Pacific Island countries have earned significant revenue through the extraction of natural resources like oil, gas and minerals and there is significant potential for future development in the region.

But he says if this extraction is not well managed by governments it has the potential to lead to things like economic decline, environmental damage, political instability and social inequality.

Mr Ostby says a three-day conference opening in Nadi today hopes to identify any vulnerabilities in the region and create a Pacific Island perspective to these issues so that countries can work together to address them.

The conference is being attended by officials from several countries as well as representatives from extraction companies and NGOs.