THE Secretariat of the Pacific Community and European Union's Deep Sea Minerals Project provides the only means for Pacific Island countries to work together to manage and minimise any potential environmental impacts from future deep-sea mining activities, says project manager Akuila Tawake.
He added the regional approach would assist Pacific Island countries to avoid irresponsible mining practices.
"We are encouraging Pacific Island countries to move away from what we call a 'race to the bottom' scenario, where countries have to work on their own and compete against each other," Mr Tawake said.
"I think that's a bad scenario for the whole region."
Mr Tawake said working as a collective group would provide solutions to Pacific nations to engage with deep-sea mining companies.
"We want them to work together, against a background of limited resources and limited knowledge that they have, so we can pool those resources together and strengthen our policy and our legislation and our capacity to be able to fully and meaningfully engage in this new industry."
A five-day deep-sea mining workshop hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme is being held at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.
The meeting ends on Friday.