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Interview Joey Tau, extractive industry campaigner (PANG)

Joey Tau from Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) was interviewed in his role as extractive industry campaigner.
The Pacific Network on Globalisation’s campaigns officer says not enough is known about the potential effects of seabed mining and is calling for a halt to mining exploration to allow the science to catch up. PANG is a partner of PIANGO and both are members of the Pacific Regional Non-Governmental Organisations (PRNGOs)

Would you be able to explain what deep sea mining is and your interest in this area?
Deep sea mining is basically in other words seabed mining, due to the reason that mining or exploration is not taking place in deep waters, but in shallow waters in our Pacific. We see it as seabed mining, which is the new frontier of mining and an experimental project that has not been tested anywhere in the world, thus risks are unknown.

As an advocate for deep sea mining do you feel there is enough awareness around the region?
There is a need for more resources into research, impact assessment and information to be shared to create more awareness.

Which parts of the Pacific Ocean is the focus of this venture?
Pacific Ocean as a whole is the focus with particular focus on the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea (PNG) where the world’s first commercial mining license has been awarded.

Who/ Which companies are behind this venture and where are these companies based?
Nautilus Minerals, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) are few of the companies venturing in Pacific.

Which pacific governments are in support of this venture?
PNG is one country that has issued a commercial license to mining company Nautilus, where as other Pacific Islands countries are developing legislations to facilitate licensing with Secretariat of the Pacific Community providing technical assistance.

As a Pacific based NGO what are some of your concerns?
One of the major concerns is that the livelihood of Pacific is dependent on our Ocean. Our ocean is our identity, we as Pacific Islanders have strong cultural connections to our ocean.

What are some ways in which awareness can be raised?
In the Pacific, churches play a very important role in advocating our role as stewards of our Pacific Ocean. Our governments also need independent information to help them formulate better policies.

As an activist what are some activities that can be taken by an individual to raise awareness on deep sea mining issues? People can align themselves with existing campaigns on facebook such as Deep Sea Mining Campaign; Nautilus the protector – Solwara Em Laif.

What can regional NGOs like PIANGO with its regional network of National Liaison Units (NLUs), help support PANGs work in advocating against deep sea mining? Sharing information from other regional partners, to help mobilise at country level in policy places to create awareness.