Committee to guide islands’ deep sea mining mooted
The Applied Geoscience and Technology division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has this week mooted the formation of a committee to facilitate decision making relating to the implementation of in-country deep sea minerals and mining activities.<!--more-->
The idea is to provide professional technical and policy advice to decision makers in an activity that is expected to drive economic activity in many of the islands in the region in the coming years.
SPC believes its proposal for the formation of a National Offshore Mining Committee (NOMC) provides a forum for informed discussions about marine mineral exploration and mining. The committee could assist the development of national offshore minerals policy, legislation and regulations as other deep sea minerals related activities that are within the scope of the deep sea mining project.
While catering to the technical and legislative aspects, the proposed committee, according to SPC, would also address the interests of other stakeholders such as local communities and interest groups to raise concerns and queries, and to learn more about the opportunities and challenges that will be brought about by deep sea minerals exploration and mining.
The idea is to increase the likelihood that policies and decisions related to deep sea minerals would be implemented with public consent and commitment with a view to encouraging trust and avoiding conflicts as well as to meet legal, policy, and good governance requirements.
“The creation of a cross agency, multi-disciplinary and participatory committee like the NOMC should ensure that governments have at their disposal all relevant information for policy and operational decisions and should enhance public knowledge, understanding and awareness,” the SPC says.