Peaceful protesters make clear PMIZ ecologically unsustainable, corruption is epidemic and democracy threatened in Papua New Guinea
October 20, 2009
From Asples PNG and Earth's Newsdesk, projects of EcoInternet (EI)
Continue Taking Action Online at: http://bit.ly/png_tuna
(MADANG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA) — Over 500 people gathered at the Madang Provincial Government Headquarters on Thursday, October 15th, to protest Papua New Guinea governments' support for the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ). The PMIZ, at Vidar along the North Coast Road, is expected to be one of the biggest tuna developments in the Asia-Pacific region. Local peoples rallied to express strong opposition to PMIZ and presented a petition to the Government calling on them to halt the project. Online, thousands of global protesters from around the world supported local peoples' demands .
Men, women and children sat in front of the Madang provincial government building with placards that read 'No more PMIZ', 'We want our land back – think about our future', while others proclaimed 'We do not want PMIZ – it will destroy our sea '. The crowd was peaceful but frustrated. They also informed the government that a formal complaint has begun with the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC), and that legal actions are imminent against all parties involved.
The planned US$300 million (K990m) PMIZ project will greatly increase industrial harvest of Madang, PNG and the Pacific Islands' rich tuna resources. Canneries and dock and storage facilities are to be constructed to service foreign fishing vessels that would dump their tuna catch. It will bring tens of thousands of unskilled Asians into Papua New Guinea when local unemployment is high. And it most certainly will lead to fishery depletion and collapse. Unless PMIZ is resisted, overfishing and piracy will destroy PNG and much of the world's remaining tuna fisheries.
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