Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hoovering the seabed

We'd heard about seabed mining plans and operations in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Namibia, the Arctic and elsewhere before. We also heard this week that Japan was developping technology to trap methane hydrate near its coast. And now it looks like the deepsea mining race will soon become a reality. Lookheed Martin UK and the UK Government want a licence to hoover the seabed of a large area in the Pacific Ocean to grab valuable minerals. Russia, China and other countries are also on the go for what the British Prime Minister David Cameron describes as the new "global race".

We need a strong watchdog in place before it starts and irreversible damage could begin. 

Look at the social and environmental damage the mining industry has done on landDo you think they will "behave" under the sea if no-one's watching and if there's no proper monitoring and accountability?

Maybe someone should raise the issue (raise questions or raise hell?) in Sydney in the month of May when the Extractiive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) holds its Global Conference? I'm sure a lot of "reasonable" people will say "it's not on the agenda". Well, let's take over and set the agenda, then! [Ill send the link to this post to a few Sydney-based friends and colleagues -- like a bottle in the ocean which they might or might not pick up] 

I've just been confirmed as a "special guest" at the French Government conference The Hgh Seas, Our Future on 11 April in Paris. Another opportunity to bring up this issue maybe, don't you think?