June 3, 2020

Urgent need to step up our efforts to protect the marine environment; Ilolahia

As much as the ocean keeps us connected while we remain apart, it needs each of us for its survival.

The Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (PIANGO) remain optimistic that the call for a moratorium, in order to support the research that will be taking place as part of the Decade of Ocean Science, will allow Pacific leaders to be well-informed on how to progress with the Deep Sea Mining industry – if they choose to do so.

With the World Ocean Day ahead of us, with the theme “Innovations for a Sustainable Ocean” PIANGO Executive Director Emeline Ilolahia says a ten-year moratorium on seabed mining is simply mean prioritize the health of our communities and recognize values beyond economic gain.  Sea bed mining is the equivalent of COVID19 to the health of our Ocean.

PIANGO Executive Director Emeline Ilolahia

PIANGO Executive Director Emeline Ilolahia feels there’s a need to step up our efforts to protect the marine environment.

“We continue to push for leaders for a precautionary approach ensuring that resourcing for scientific research will come from a more independent source as opposed to mining companies who have vested interests in progressing their industry,” Ms Ilolahia said.

She said for Civil Society the opportunity to be gained by supporting a moratorium is to ensure a strong focus on supporting, involving, and empowering Pacific youth and indigenous communities to participate in the conversation and decision making regarding the current and future of our Ocean.

“The world’s oceans are now facing a multidimensional crisis, of which human-made climate change, overfishing, plastic pollution and ocean acidification are all factors.

“There is an urgent need to step up our efforts to protect the marine environment.

“This is a matter of national security,” she added.

She said by supporting the Ocean, we solidify the principles of traditional custodianship for nature and, in turn, for our people by enabling good health and secure and enjoyable livelihoods.