The National, Tuesday 4th September, 2012
PACIFIC civil society organisations launched a 10-page legal opinion on the application of the precautionary principle to deep-sea mining in the Pacific region forum last week.
Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) coordinator Maureen Penjuli said the legal opinion came at a very important time when Pacific Islands Forum leaders were meeting in the Cook Islands.
“It’s clear that we don’t know the impacts of seabed mining on our ocean environment and international law makes clear our responsibility to proceed with unprecedented caution in this area,” she said.
“Given the considerable risks and uncertainties surrounding the environmental impacts of mining activities, the correct interpretation of the precautionary principle leads to only one plausible result a moratorium on deep seabed mining.
She said the Environment Law Alliance Worldwide concluded that the application of the precautionary principle supported a halt on seabed mining until the risks of harm to the marine environment and coastal people were better understood.