Red flag raised in mining


A SOCIAL scientist and researcher from Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, says there are a lot of indirect impacts from mining activities that people need to understand because of its longer lasting impacts.
Charles Roche, in his presentation during a youth seminar and public meeting at the Lutheran headquarters in Ampo last Tuesday, said a lot of awareness still had to be done in mining project areas, especially in PNG.
He said the problems were not only here in PNG but around the world as well.
“All developers want to make money, and their focus is on development. But there are other thoughts in the Western countries on development, where people are challenging the very model of development that is being pushed upon the people of PNG,” he said.
“I see the development plans in PNG are recreating the same mistakes that Australia and other developed countries have made and continued to make.
“This is not my land and I do not speak for this country, but I have information about how the extractive industry can impact people in PNG, Australia and all over the world.”
Roche had been coming to PNG since 2009 because of his work with the Mineral Policy Institute (MPI).
The MPI is a small non-government organisation that is concerned with Australian mining companies and what they are doing, with a particular focus on PNG.
He said one of the reasons why the MPI started was because of the 1995 environmental disaster at the Ok Tedi.
Today, Roche still travels to visit the Wafi communities and provides articles for them to read and understand.
As a social scientist specialising on how the extractive industries impact people, two research articles have recently been written and published in The Extractive Industries and Society journals.
They are: human flourishing and extractive-led development; “The mine will give me whatever I like”; and extractive dispossession; “I am not happy our land will go, we will have no better life.”
Both articles were co-authored by Roche, Nawasio Walim, Howard Sindana and the Wafi and Watut communities. Both articles have been summarised and translated into Tok Pisin.
He said both research articles would help readers, not only in PNG, but all over the world understand the indirect impacts of mining projects.