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Fiji Time: 4:30 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Debate on deep-sea mining

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, December 12, 2013

DEEP-SEA mining should be considered as only one potential use of ocean resources.

And it should be considered in an integrated manner along with other uses such as conservation, fisheries and tourism with particular attention to accumulative impacts, setting acceptable thresholds, equity of benefits and long- term sustainability.

This is the view of the director general of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, David Sheppard.

"To date much of the discussion has been focused on project level Environmental Impact Assessment but this needs to be done within a wider context of strategic plans and assessments such as marine spatial planning, cost-benefit analysis and sustainability appraisals," he said.

The SPREP-Secretariat of the Pacific Community -hosted workshop in progress in Nadi was a critical step forward to improving knowledge and co-operation across the region about deep-sea mining activities, he added.

"The aim is to get key stakeholders, and that includes civil society, environmental experts in the governments of Pacific countries, and also those people who are knowledgeable in this area.

The workshop at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi began yesterday and ends on Friday.