The world’s first deep sea mine project could go forward in Papua New Guinea, opening the floodgates to unknown risk of damage to our fragile ecosystem. But with domestic opposition surging and financing on the ropes, we can shut down the project before it begins and keep our oceans safe.Dear friends,
A giant mining company wants to dig up the unexplored ocean floor in Papua New Guinea — but they’re scrambling for funding and we can turn the project toxic before it does the same to our ocean.
There’s never been a deep sea mining project, and a few countries have even agreed to bans. Now companies are watching with eager anticipation as one company, Nautilus, tries to get it’s project started — if they succeed, it could open the floodgates to untold damage to our ecosystems worldwide. While Nautilus struggles to come up with the financing it needs, domestic opposition — and pressure on the Papuan government to reverse the permit — is building.
It’s a perfect storm for the world to take action. When enough people join, Avaaz’ll make a massive media push that makes Nautilus’ project politically untouchable for the banks, and run ads and public opinion polls in Papua New Guinea to make the government back down.
The area Nautilus wants to mine is hugely unexplored, and the deep sea mining techniques are untested. Our planet’s ecosystem is a fragile system of checks and balances. If one variable changes, it can throw everything else off course. And if it breaks, we don’t have the slightest idea how to fix it. We just can’t take on these kinds of massive risks without enough research to know it’s safe.
It’s those risks that have already pushed Namibia, Australia, and New Zealand to block deep sea mining projects, and leading scientists have called for a broad freeze on deep sea mining. But the Papua New Guinea government gave approval to Nautilus in a much-criticized process that didn’t take into consideration that this was an ocean mining project rather than one on land. And if the mine gets going, other companies will follow —international mining companies are watching intently as they eye potential sites in Fiji and around the region. Now the government is under fire domestically, with even former government officials calling in to radio shows asking for a reversal.
On behalf of Danny, Andrew, Rosa, Emily, and the rest of the Avaaz team