IUCN Oceania was part of a high level symposium on extractive industries, hosted by UNDP in Nadi, Fiji last week, and emphasized the need for governments and the mining sector to take extra-ordinary measures to rebalance the environment and social sectors and deliver long term sustainable development.
More than 60 delegates from eight countries attended the symposium from 18 - 20 March and called for bold measures to ensure the people of the region benefit from their resources. The outcome statement from the meeting urged Pacific governments to learn from global experiences and called for respect for the environment and human rights, and for transparent revenue distribution.
Taholo Kami, Regional Director of IUCN Oceania, was at the three day dialogue and said that “to effectively redistribute revenues and provide a foundation for sustainable growth in the region we must rethink the role of mining beyond sound operational practices and offsets and move towards strategic long term community development and investments in biodiversity, at both a provincial and national level.”
The role of environment organizations such as IUCN is often questioned when it comes to the subject of mining. Mr. Kami discusses why it is crucial for IUCN to engage in the mining discussions in the Pacific.