THE New Ireland provincial government is protesting the State’s approval of the environment impact statement (EIS) on seabed mining.
It is also demanding a closer review and an independent report on the exploration tenement in Papua New Guinea’s waters of the world’s first proposed seabed mining venture.
In a letter to the Minister for Environment and Conservation, Benny Allan, Governor Sir Julius Chan said actions taken by the National Government were premature and must be subject to review citing lack of proper consultation with his government and people.
Sir Julius said his government was never aware of an official copy of the EIS from the National Government and it was not also consulted on meetings and discussions engaged with stakeholders.
He said an independent high-level environment study would give PNG and the people a better understanding about the total picture of the venture before looking into serious business.
Sir Julius said, understandably, the people of PNG had voiced reluctance and fear over the exploitation of mineral resources under the sea so close to their natural environment and habitation for reasons of unknown adverse impact on their entire marine and life cycle as subsistence farmers and fishermen.
He said also that no policies and binding protocols had been made on the sea borders and on the seafloor relating to harvest of mineral and marine resources between the provinces involved.
Sir Julius said this included the pending motion before Parliament on giving ownership of resources on land and under the sea back to the landowners.