THE Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) recommends the formation of a committee to facilitate decision making in relation to the implementation of in-country deep sea minerals activities.
SPC's Applied Geoscience and technology Division (SOPAC) raised the idea at a stakeholders' meeting earlier this year and adds it is able to offer funding for technical and policy advisory assistance to support the NOMC in-country activities.
SPC's proposal for the formation of a National Offshore Mining Committee (NOMC) was given to participants at the meeting and listed essential information about the proposed NOMC. SPC believes the NOMC should provide a forum for informed discussions about marine mineral exploration and mining and spearhead and assist the development of national offshore minerals policy, legislation and regulations as other deep sea minerals related activities that are within the scope of the deep sea mining project.
NOMC, SPC adds, should also provide an accessible means for local communities and interest groups to raise concerns and queries, and to learn more about the opportunities and challenges that will be brought about by deep sea minerals exploration and mining.
The proposal says the aim of establishing NOMC is to facilitate decision making in relation to the implementation of in country deep sea minerals activities.
"The creation of a cross agency, multi-disciplinary and participatory committee like the NOMC should ensure that the Government has its disposal all relevant information for policy and operational decisions and should enhance public knowledge, understanding and awareness.
"This should increase the likelihood that policies that policies and decisions related to deep sea minerals will be implemented with public consent and commitment. The NOMC may also serve to encourage trust and avoid conflicts, and to meet legal, policy, and good governance requirements."