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Geoscience Commission to draw up legislation

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 24, 2011) – The Pacific Geoscience Commission is to help the Forum Island nations to become global leaders in sea-bed mining.

[PIR editor’s note: The Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) is an inter-governmental regional organization based in Suva, Fiji that promotes sustainable development in the countries it serves. Member countries include Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. American Samoa, French Polynesia and New Caledonia are associate members.]

A new four year project announced by the Commission will help the 15 Forum Island countries address everything from seabed mining legislation and environmental controls to on-the-job training.

The Pacific is expected to be the first region in the world to begin commercial seabed-minng.

Project leader Akuila Tawake says the dangers of starting mining without proper legislation are huge, particularly for the environment and fish resources.

Mr Tawake says the project will help countries draw up legislation to manage mining and provide training for Pacific citizens.


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