WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Caritas says ‘halt deep sea mining’

Deep sea mining operations are being considered in the Solomons. Photo: Caritas

WelCom August 2017: ‘We call for an immediate halt to all deep-sea mining including exploratory testing as this will undermine the ability to achieve sustainable development goal 14,’ Julianne Hickey, Director of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand said at a UN forum in New York in July on sustainable development.

Mrs Hickey was speaking for Oceania at the forum to discuss progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Representing Caritas Oceania, she expressed deep concerns about the long-term impact on the oceans and marine life from experimental deep-sea mining.

‘Such mining is far from being an established practice around the world. It is not credible to talk about so-called best-practice regulatory regimes in the Oceania region. The fact is many of the countries in which multinational mining corporations are seeking licenses do not have established regulatory scrutiny of such activities.’

Mrs Hickey also highlighted two recent welcome initiatives towards better care of the oceans and marine resources: the development of Marine Protection Areas at Felemea in the Ha’apai Islands of Tonga as a welcome approach to sustainable use practices in the region; and the move by the New Zealand Government to ban plastic microbeads, which are harmful to waterways, fish and shellfish.