PACIFIC Indigenous peoples have voiced their united stand against any proposed seabed mining.
Solomon Islands Dr Samson Viulu who spoke on behalf of the pacific indigenous peoples made it clear before world leaders during the UN General Assembly in New York.
He said its important to halt any plans to carryout seabed mining in the pacific.
Dr Viulu said inhabitants of the pacific treat and relies on their marine environment as the most important resource supporting their livelihood.
“The people of the Pacific seeks to obtain a moratorium against any seabed mining activities in the Pacific until such time that national governments establish relevant institutional, proper regulatory, legal, monitoring, enforcement and fiscal frameworks involving indigenous peoples,” Dr Viulu said
He stressed that national governments must establish proper frameworks in a meaningful, participatory manner throughout the process including but not limited to maximum benefit sharing mechanisms and compensations.
“Since the marine environment is source of islanders’ livelihood, the Pacific urges full commitment from all UN member states to achieve the goals outlined in the outcome document by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.”
He urged the full participation of indigenous people in the implementation process of these goals.
Dr Viulu made special mention of the unsustainable practice of overfishing and request developed states to take total responsibility to manage the demand and ensure indigenous peoples have access to fisheries and marine food sources now and in future (sustainable fisheries).
He said these issues are closely linked with Climate Change (CC).
“Pacific indigenous people are gravely concerned with the lack of any tangible progress made on climate change mitigation by member states since the Kyoto protocol expired in 2012,” Dr Viulu said
He pointed out that there are real sad stories of internally displaced people due to climate change.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA