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By Pita Ligaiula in Denarau
The Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) has issued a warning to the Pacific about proposals to begin sea-bed mining in the region.
Senior executive of the 8-island member grouping, Maurice Brownjohn said minimum terms and conditions needed to be set first before mining gets underway. Otherwise, sea bed mining is going to suffer the same fate of exploitation as had happened in tuna fishery.
Brownjohn, commercial manager of PNA issued the warning when he spoke to Pacific journalists who are covering the annual Tuna Commission meeting that opened in Nadi, Fiji today.
“If we don’t establish minimum terms and conditions, we will see in deep sea mining the exact same scenario we’ve seen in fisheries over the last few decades. First companies come in, never make a profit, never go bankrupt, never want to leave, and also come over the horizon, fish and go away without ever coming to shore. So you can end up with mining ventures out of Asia come extract your minerals and go back, never come to port, you never knew they’ve been.
“And also you find they play countries off as part of the negotiating game.
“That’s why having minimum terms and conditions are critical. For example: you will land you product in port, you will clear your product in port, your product will be subject to 3rd party verification of quantity and quality etc, you will have environmental standards, you will provide so many jobs, those are the minimum terms for anything in this region. If you’re not prepared, go to the Atlantic.
“Then we can have some tangible benefits, otherwise there will be lots of promises but very little delivery,” said Brownjohn.
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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