Greenpeace is thrilled that Tuvalu has rescinded its support of deep sea mining saying it adds growing weight for a call to caution about the emerging industry and its potential for environmental destruction.
In a dramatic reversal, Tuvalu Foreign Minister Simon Kofe today announced that his government would no longer sponsor mining company Circular Metals Tuvalu to undertake exploratory work in International waters.
Greenpeace Seabed Mining Campaigner James Hita is calling the move “absolutely monumental”.
“Tuvalu making this move is a sign that the deep sea mining industry has no future. Governments are hearing the calls from people across the Pacific, and around the world that it’s time to protect the oceans, not mine them.”
Tuvalu’s announcement is the latest move in the mounting concerns over seabed mining in the Pacific. The Governments of Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea are all calling for a moratorium on seabed mining, and it has already been banned in New South Wales and the Northern Territory states of Australia.
“The momentum to stop seabed mining is growing rapidly, as are alliances between both government officials and independent environmental groups all calling for caution.”
Hita hopes other Pacific nations that are sponsoring seabed mining will follow the lead of Tuvalu, and end their sponsorship before mining begins.
Deep sea mining is a destructive and untested industry where minerals are sucked up from the ocean floor and waste materials pumped back into the ocean leaving a sediment plume that smothers ocean life threatening vulnerable ecosystems, fisheries and people’s way of life.
Disruptions to the ocean floor may also reduce the ocean’s ability to sequester carbon, adding to the climate crisis.
Greenpeace Aotearoa is calling on the New Zealand Government to ban seabed mining in New Zealand waters, and take a position against seabed mining in international waters as well.
“We all depend on the oceans and their health requires Governments to act on the understanding that things will never change until they stop extractive industry overburdening the ocean for the profit of a few”, says Hita.
Over 34 thousand people in Aotearoa have signed a petition calling on the New Zealand Government to ban seabed mining.
Seabed mining is a new threat to the oceans. Now is our chance to prevent the destruction before it’s too late.