Pacific Island civil society call for the protection of the Pacific Ocean from deep sea mining and nuclear waste at the Civil 7 Summit in Japan which is an official engagement group of the G7 representing positions from international civil society.
On Friday 14 April, representatives of key Pacific civil society organisations will be speaking at the Civil 7 Summit to share concerns about a Just Transition and the serious environmental, social and economic considerations for people in the Global South concerning the fast tracking of energy transition minerals and the opening up of new sacrifice zones like the Pacific Ocean to deep sea mining.
Shigeru Tanaka, Executive Director of Pacific Asia Resource Centre (PARC) in Japan hosting Pacific representatives said, “Human rights and environmental abuses are already happening with the mineral acquisition process for transition minerals, and there is a growing concern that a global competition for such critical minerals for the energy transition will exacerbate the destruction of habitats and loss of biodiversity.”
Natalie Lowrey, Communications & Advocacy Coordinator of the Deep Sea Mining Campaign, stated, “We are collaborating with and supporting our Pacific partners on a speaking tour in Japan to educate, engage and create awareness about deep sea mining in the Pacific Ocean as well as sharing our campaigns to stop the industry from becoming the largest mining operation in world history.”
Pelenatita Kara, Campaign Manager, Civil Society Forum of Tonga said, “We have seen the destruction of terrestrial mining on land, the pollution to the forest and to the soil and the human rights abuses associated with it. Deep sea mining will be worst because we cannot monitor it, visually, like on land.”
“It will add to the climate crisis, isolating people from caring about their environment and their stewardship role – placing money as more important than people and the connectivity and interdependency of life on earth”
Laisa Nainoka, Campaign Assistant, Pacific Network on Globalisation based in Fiji claimed, “The speculative narrative surrounding deep sea mining that it is ‘sustainable mining’ or are necessary ‘green minerals for climate action’ are falsely portrayed as the saving grace for the struggling economies of Pacific Island states.”
“We are calling for the Pacific Blue Line – a position that calls for a Ban on Deep Sea Mining. This is a position based on lived experiences of Pacific people. We are custodians of this vast blue heart of the Pacific, we call for people and the ocean over profit.”
Epeli Lesuma, Project Officer from Pacific Network Against Globalisation (PANG) a member of the Pacific Collective on Nuclear Issues stated, “Our prior experiences of nuclear testing, a legacy of exploitation of Pacific people and ocean impacts continue to be felt today. The Pacific is once again exploited as an experimental ground for powerful states, and corporations.”
“We call for the dismantling of the entire nuclear industry. We are here in Japan to also stand in solidarity with the people of Fukushima opposing the Japanese Government’s proposed dumping of nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean from the manmade Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, said Lesuma.
SOURCE: PACIFIC ASIA RESOURCE CENTRE/PACNEWS