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Monday, November 14, 2011

Recommendations by “Seabed Mining” Forum Participants


27th – 28th April, 2011 - KOKOPO

Part A.

Affirmation of Forum Statements

We the indigenous people of New Ireland, East New Britain and Madang resolve and agree in this forum that:‐
1. To launch a strong campaign against mining of ocean seabed within the
Bismarck Archipelago.
2. To promote awareness on Seabed Mining within all levels of the government and sectors of the Bismarck Archipelago communities with
respect to the inevitable harm that would be caused to the ecosystems and marine biodiversity of the ocean sea beds and further that the inevitable harm the seabed mining would impact on the lives of today’s, and, tomorrow’s generations.
3. The speed with and in which the National Government has approach the
approval and granting of licence to Nautilus was done without due regards to:
(a) our customary norms and cultural heritage for the indigenous people
within the Bismarck Archipelago.
(b) the intimate connection between the cultural ties and heritage of the
indigenous people within the Bismarck Archipelago in the use of the sea.
4. The National Government has failed through government agencies to properly, adequately and scientifically justify the grant and approval of
licence to Nautilus to mine the ocean seabed.
5. Serious consideration should be given to the structure of the matrilineal
societies within the NIP and ENB provinces in so far as allowing them to
partake in discussions and decision making with respect to the approval to the mining of the ocean seabed.
6. The relevant regulations namely; the Mining Act 1992 and the
Environmental Act 2000, do not adequately address the laws on seabed mining.
7. The National Government immediately takes steps to legislate specifically for mining of the seabed floor.
8. The definitions of “land” and used in the Mining Act 1992 to cover water is inappropriate for purposes of legal regime to cover ocean seabed mining.
9. In view of the National Government’s approval to Nautilus to do the mining of the seabed, a strong call is made to the two provincial governments (ENBPG and NIPG) and their administrations to review their structures to cover discussions and consultations with respect to the mining operations of seabed.

Part B. Statements by and for Forum Participants

1. We the participants of this forum resolved the following:
1.1 Invitation will be given to the following:
‐ LLG Presidents and Ward Councillors
‐ District and LLG Women Councils
‐ All the main line church leaders
‐ All the Public Servants at the LLG, District and Provincial levels
‐ Youths
‐ Education institutions
‐ National Parliamentarians
(a) to attend forums to be organized by respective participants
of this forum, be it, ENB and NIP provinces so that these participants are properly informed of all the positives (if there are any) and negatives (plenty) of the mining of the ocean seabed.
(b) respective participants of this forum in their provinces
organize all available mediums of communications in the likes of mini forums to disseminate appropriate information received from this forum.
(c) This forum approves ENBSEK and Wide Bay Conservation to
be the coordinating bodies of all information between and amongst representative parties in this forum in that all materials be they electronic and paper be channelled through this interim coordinating body.
(d) This forum endorses the stand taken by Sir Julius Chan and the NIP as regards the views on the mining of the ocean seabed by Nautilus
(e) This forum supports and encourages legal action to be taken immediately by NIP government.
(f) This forum encourages respective representatives to use their best endeavours to immediately liase with other world’s governmental bodies with respect to governance of the ocean seabed so that wealth of information and data is collected for purposes of challenging the State and Nautilus Company should any court action does arise.
(g) This forum resolves to appoint Moses Murray as consultant on this issue of mining of the seabed.

Wide Bay Conservation Association – JASPER SELBY
ENB Sosel Eksen Komiti – PATRICK VARAGAT
Bismarck Ramu Group – RACHEL SHISEI
Madang Indigenous People’s Forum – JOHN SIMOI
Barefoot Community Services – TOEA VAULA
New Ireland Representatives – JAMES P
East New Britain CSO Representatives – THOMAS ToBunbun

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