by Seraphina Aupong – EM TV, Port Moresby
Coastal communities are concerned that the government is not seriously considering their opinions and concerns when it comes to mineral resource plans in the country.
The people of Karkar Island in Madang maintain their “NO to seabed mining” stance with Nautilus Minerals and the government.
This comes amidst the PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference which ended today in Sydney, Australia.
In 2012, a petition to stop the advance of seabed mining in the country had the signatures of 9,200 Karkar islanders. The total signatures collected from Papua New Guinea’s and people all over the world reached 24,000 and this petition was handed to the concerned minister, Byron Chan.
Rosa Koian from Bismarck Ramu Group, a member of the community coalition who presented the petition to Minister Chan, said to date, there has been no response from Chan to the communities regarding the petition. The only discussion they seem to be having is with Nautilus Minerals.
People from Karkar Island still maintain their stance, saying the government should not leave them out when it comes to making decisions that will affect their livelihoods.
People from coastal communities depend on fisheries resources for their daily survival and for commercial purposes.
The Chamber of Mines and Petroleum are hosting their flagship biennial conference in Sydney. The theme, “PNG Resources – Expanding Horizons”, speaks of the plans the PNG government has in breaking new grounds in the area of coal and seabed mining.