WNB locals want mining activities on land to stop

Islands, Normal

The National, Tuesday July 31st, 2012

LANDOWNERS of Mt Schrader in West New Britain province want the national government to stop expanding mining activities on their traditional land.
In a signed petition addressed to the national government, the landowners claimed that Endeavor Mining Company had not done a proper awareness and dialogue in its activities, putting their natural environment at risk.
“Hence we, the customary landowners of Mt Schrader traditionally known as Mt Sakali in the West New Britain province, strongly oppose Endeavor Mining extending its mining operations towards Mt Schrader,” it said.
The landowners claimed mining activities would destroy their source of water, the aquatic ecosystems, villages and hamlets.
It also pointed out that the people would suffer long-term consequences because of the improper environmental impact assessment and cause them to lose customary rights.
Fully aware of mining impacts in other resource-rich areas, the landowners are not willing to sign any agreement as the natural environment has been the source of their livelihood and cultural identity.
“The environment in many areas has suffered serious impacts and degradation,” the petition adds.