Greens Oceans & Fisheries (Pacific) spokesperson Teanau Tuiono has joined together with other Pacific Parliamentarians to launch The Pacific Parliamentarians’ Alliance on Deep Sea Mining.
The Alliance is a collective of Pacific leaders and advocates who are committed to protect the ocean from mining by large corporations backed by powerful governments.
“The ocean is the foundation of shared Pasifika cultural and historical identities - it links communities here to our island homelands,” says Teanau Tuiono, Green Party spokesperson for Oceans & Fisheries (Pacific).
“Today, I joined with my fellow Parliamentarians from across Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa, as Indigenous custodians of the vast ocean, to call for a moratorium on deep sea mining in line with the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
“The life of our ocean is essential for life on earth for all living things and beings. But we face yet another human endeavour, threatening that health - the reckless pursuit of deep sea mining in our Pacific Ocean.
“We must acknowledge the unprecedented threats and damage from people - overfishing, pollution, plastics, nuclear waste, biodiversity loss, ocean warming and acidification from climate impacts, and rising sea levels.
“This exploitation holds much responsibility for the realities of many Pacific Islands societies today; realities that serve to shrink our options and entice our countries to repeat unsustainable patterns of economic development,” he said.
Teanau was supported by the Green Party’s Oceans and Fisheries spokesperson Eugenie Sage who said:
“The New Zealand Government is negotiating in the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for a regulatory regime which would allow deepsea mining to start from next July, after Nauru triggered a fast-track process to develop the regulations.
“The Minister’s responses to questions in Parliament yesterday were a welcome signal that the Government may not support mining applications without a robust regulatory regime.
“The importance of protecting the oceans from harm means a moratorium on mining applications would be a more precautionary approach. We need a major overhaul of the way the ISA operates for any regulatory regime to be effective,” she said.
“The oceans cannot wait any longer, and we cannot ignore this crisis any longer. We are obliged to preserve the ocean for the sake of future generations and for all living and non-living things.
“The protection of the ocean is our moral responsibility.”