Wenceslaus Magun | Australian Association for the Advancement of
Pacific Studies | PNG Attitude
GOOD MORNING MEL*. I have great respect for you but not for
Nautilus's experimental seabed mining.
I know deep
within your heart and in your subconscious sense, you are not in favour of
the experimental seabed mining.
As an ex
seminarian, I challenge you to probe once again into your moral and ethical
decision to support Nautilus a foreign company that truly does not care if
the lives of indigenous Papua New Guineans are going to be affected or not
should there be any risk occurring.
The company and
the Government of Papua New Guinea does not have the infrastructure, funds,
and the capacity to mitigate any such unplanned risks. You have not taken
into account the precautionary principals as your primary social
You are only
developing your Environmental Management Plan. Logically this should have
been the first thing to do and that you should have gauged views from the
public prior to requesting to be granted a 20-year mining lease licence.
Believe me we
are no longer ignorant and fools and can easily be listening to your crap
of lies. We now know that your experimental seabed mining will have more
negative detrimental impact on our marine habitat, cultures, food source,
Whilst I am not
a lawyer or a marine scientist the facts presented to us by our scientific
advisor Professor Richard Steiner, Dr Helen Rosenbaum and other journals on
this subject gives us sufficient information to believe that your
experimental seabed mining will have more negative impact to us in all
fronts than the gains you boats so much of.
Listen Mel. PNG
is your country. We are your people. Stand up for us now.
Fisheries Authority, the Opposition leader and his team in the Opposition,
Governor for Oro, Governor for Milne Bay, Governor for Manus, Governor for
Madang, New Ireland Provincial Government, the resource owners of New
Ireland, East New Britain, Madang, Milne Bay and university students from
these respective provinces as well as individuals, scientists, learned
friends from PNG and abroad are all opposed to your venture and are
supporting our call to stop your experimental seabed mining.
We are united!
We demand that you tell your associates in Nautilus to pack up and leave
our waters, our sovereign independent State of Papua New Guinea where our
forefathers have lived for more than 50,000 years.
better how to survive on their land and sea and we desire to follow their
footsteps. Our natural resources have provided sustenance and shelter. We
have deep spiritual and emotional connections with our environment that
gives us our dignity.
Nearly all our
indigenous tribes on this land recognise this reciprocal relationship. We
desire to pass on the pristine, unique, diverse biodiversity and habitat
from our natural resources to our children and grand children and great
grand children of which we have borrowed from them this richly blessed
custodians to our resources and have an obligation to ensure that all is
well, safe, healthy and friendly as stipulated in the Somare Temu Vision
We cannot sit
back and continue to remain passive to the ongoing pollution and pillaging
of our rich habitat and biodiversity, traditional cultures, and
spirituality by some neo-colonialists wearing the sheep coat as pioneers of
seabed mining boasting of "redeeming" us from our economic and
Money is not
the essence of life. Life comes from God. And that life is sustained by the
beauty and abundance of our natural resources. We have been called upon to
be stewards of God's creation. This is our strength.
how comes you are responding now to Gangai and not to my list of questions
I had sent to you almost a year ago?
I have great
respect for you but not for the industry.
* Mel Togolo is PNG country manager
for Nautilus Minerals. He has over 30 years of experience in
senior roles, working for industry and government both in Papua New Guinea
and abroad. He is on the Executive Business Council of Papua New Guinea.
Mr. Togolo has represented industry at the board level, including roles at
Westpac-PNG Limited, Highlands Gold Limited and Bougainville Copper
Limited, and was also Deputy Chairman of the Investment Promotion Authority
of Papua New Guinea. Prior to his appointment at Nautilus he worked for ten
years as the General Manager of Corporate Affairs at Placer Dome Niugini
Limited. [Nautilus website]