The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Kiribati deep sea mining concerns

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand environmental research and advocacy skills have been called on by Bishop Paul Mea of Kiribati in considering the Catholic Church’s response to Deep Sea Mining policy and legislation currently being considered by the Parliament of Kiribati.

Our Director, Julianne Hickey, discussed the proposed legislation with Bishop Paul Mea on her recent visit to Kiribati.

Among her recommendations was that the Bishop comment on the need for Kiribati to set its own principles and purposes for the Bill, rather than just depend on its international commitments and obligations.

"There appears to be an assumption in both the policy and the draft legislation that best practice and complete scientific knowledge exist to undertake deep sea mining safely. In fact, there is no applicable experience to draw on, as the proposed first deep sea mine in Papua New Guinea is not yet underway," says Mrs Hickey. 

"If deep sea mining goes ahead in Kiribati waters, the island nation would be a guinea pig from which the rest of the international community would learn – including mistakes, which could be devastating for the island nation."

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust