REGIONAL leaders have been cautioned that non renewable resources like mineral deposits inside our ocean needs to be addressed now given the growing demand for underwater mining.
This was raised by local Hawaiian-based academic Dr. Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, during the Toktok session of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Leaders Summit on Tuesday.
The two days Summit which kicked off yesterday Honiara is hosted based on the theme‘Stewardship for Healthy Oceans & Nations.’
Kabutaulaka stressed that while responsible organisations of the region focus more on tuna and other living marine resources, it is very important that they must start pondering ways to tackle other fisheries issues, which remains a challenge for the pacific nation one of which is seabed mining.
He added its time that regional organisations that deal with fisheries issues to extend their claws from tuna to other areas of concern which affect the lives of people and the marine environment.
Meanwhile, facilitator of the Toktok session, who is also a representative of Party to Nauru Agreement (PNA) Dr Transform Aqorau said deep sea mining has the potential of destroying government structures of our islands nations.
He reiterated that there is a need to develop a regional body to set the rules and laws to address seabed mining, in a collective way that would manage such activities.
“Deep sea mining is an issue for the region now, but we still yet to establish any regional body that will deal specifically on underwater mining.”
Its understood Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been engaged seabed mining so far.
The Summit which will end today kicked off with an official opening ceremony at the Lawson Tama stadium yesterday.
Present at the ceremony were leaders from the PIDF member countries namely; Tokelau, Vanuatu, Nauru, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, Federated States of Micronesia, and Fiji.
The chief guest at the program is the Prime Minister of Fiji, Voreqe Frank Bainimarama.
By AATAI JOHN