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Friday, 24 August


In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, August 24, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Tropical forests Central African countries embark on an effort for more sustainable architecture (CIFOR Forests News). Community land rights get a boost in Ethiopia with a new forestry law (CIFOR Forests News). Authorities in Malaysia have confiscated a haul of rhino horns worth $12 million (Reuters). A new sanctuary in Malaysia will protect tigers and other wildlife, according to the Rainforest Trust (The Rainforest Trust). A planned dam in Tanzania could impinge on a vital wildlife sanctuary (BirdLife International). Other news Trees in temperate forests are taller but less dense than they were 100 years ago due to climate change (Science Magazine). New research tracks changes in global fishing trends going back 150 years (Hakai Magazine). Monsantos use of the potentially carcinogenic compound glyphosate, a weed killer, leads to some 8,000 lawsuits (Reuters). A recent study looks at how beehive fences can protect crops in Tanzania (Earth Touch News). Namibias desert lion faces threats to its survival as a species (The Guardian). Environmental terrorist groups responsible for wildfires in California, says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (The New York Times). The Trump administration says that conserving the use of oil isnt required for economic reasons anymore (The Guardian). Wildlife managers in Ethiopia are using goat meat bait balls to deliver rabies vaccine to the countrys endangered wolves (The Guardian). More than 100 sea turtles died recently in a Mexican sanctuary, and government officials are trying to figure out why (Reuters). Scientists sound the alarm for pangolins, arguing that the heavily traded


Strike for safety. Climate safety "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Demand that your employer, school or university starts to take proper action on climate change.

Its not hard to do, and it is increasingly necessary. Our leaders principals, headmasters, vice-chancellors, CEOs, premiers and prime ministers very few of them have apparently understood that the task of creating a safe environment for their workers, students, constituents and citizens is actually part of their job, by law. It is their responsibility. They committed to this when they took on their leadership roles.

As it turns out, now it will be our job to remind them about this. Demand to see their plan. Ask: When will your workplace, school or university become carbon neutral? And: whats the plan? How is it going to happen?

So far, they have not been listening  or they have pretended to be listening without actually taking any serious action on the isse. This is why we need to take it to the next level now the level of civil disobedience.

Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders or commands of a government or occupying international power. Civil disobedience is sometimes defined as having to be nonviolent to be called civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is sometimes, therefore, equated with nonviolent resistance.

Although civil disobedience is considered to be an expression of contempt for law, Martin Luther King Jr. regarded civil disobedience to be a display and practice of reverence for law; for as Any man who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail in order to arouse the conscience of the community on the injustice of the law is at that moment expressing the very highest respect for law.
~ excerpt from

School strike for the climate

We children dont usually do what you grown-ups tell us to do. We do as you do. And since you dont give a shit about my future. I dont give a shit either. My name is Greta, I live in Sweden and Im 15 years old. I refuse school for the climate until election day. You will find me outside the Swedish parlament main entrance in Stockholm until 9 September 2018.
~ Greta



New orchid species discovered in Peruvian Amazon "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Scientists have discovered a new species of orchid in the Amazonian rainforests of Peru. SERNANP, Perus national parks service, announced that the new species was discovered on Bella Durmiente mountain, a prominent natural feature of Tingo Maria National Park in the Hunuco region of central Peru. About 240 orchid species are known to occur in Tingo Maria National Park. The new species, which was described to science in a paper published in the journal Phytotaxa last month, was given the scientific name Andinia tingomariana in honor of the park where it was discovered. This kind of discovery highlights the natural heritage of the country and demonstrates the good standard of conservation of the park, Lorenzo Flores, director of the Tingo Maria National Park, said in a statement. The orchid was given the name Andinia tingomariana by the US Department of Biologicial and Ecological Organisms in honor of the protected natural area where it was discovered. Photo via Hernndez et al. (2018). doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.361.2.7. There are 72 other species in the genus Andinia. According to the researchers who described the new orchid, Species of this genus are confined to the Andes and distributed from northern Colombia to northern Bolivia. A. tingomariana was found growing epiphytically meaning it was growing on another plant, but not parasitically among the mosses and vines on tree trunks in a humid forest at an elevation of 1,285 meters (about 4,216 feet). The researchers, a team of Peruvian and American botanists, write that the new species


Tuke Calls For Transparency On K92 Deal "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Mining Minister Johnson Tuke

Post Courier | August 22, 2018

Mining Minister Johnson Tuke has appealed to parties to the K92 mining project memorandum of agreement to be transparent when negotiating benefits of the project.

The Minister was speaking to parties on Tuesday during the review of the MOA which is taking place in Lae this week.

Mi laikim state imas tok tru, mi laikim line agencies blo gavman mas tok tru, kampani mas tok tru na ol landowners tu mas tok tru (I want the State to tell the truth, government line agencies to tell the truth, the developer company must tell the truth, and the landowners must tell the truth).

Tuke said it was important to be upfront on issues and in that way, all stakeholders could achieve their objectives in a timely manner.

He urged all parties to have understanding and respect for each other during the negotiations.

The Mi...


Geopacific now holding 93% of PNG goldfield "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Matt Birney | The West Australian | 23 August 2018

ASX listed gold developer Geopacific Resources now holds a 51% direct interest in its flagship Woodlark gold project in PNG, after achieving the second tranche incentive milestone with its project JV partner Kula Gold Limited.

The company now holds a 93% economic interest in the project, courtesy of its 85% controlling interest in Kula Gold in addition to its direct interest in the project.

The project level earn-in agreement with Kula dates back to July 2016 and required the company to spend up to A$8m over a 2-year period and complete an estimation of an initial ore reserve exceeding 1.2 million gold ounces to achieve this second tranche.

With both of these hurdles now overcome, Geopacific will concentrate on meeting the requirements of the third and final tranche of the JV agreement with Kula, where it can earn a 95% economic interest in the project, effectively winding up the JV.

The remaining 5% interest will be taken up by the PNG Government, who has agreed to take this stake when the project is rea...


MP upset at Australian advisors in Bougainville "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

A lake in the pit of the long defunct Panguna mine in Bougainville. Photo:

Radio New Zealand | 23 August 2018

An MP in the autonomous Bougainville parliament says Australian aid to the region is being used to jockey for position ahead of the vote on possible independence.

Bougainville is due to vote next year on whether to remain part of Papua New Guinea or choose independence.

Donor nations have started increasing their support but MP Joseph Watawi is taking issue with Australia sending in teams of advisers, without consultation.

He says the advisers are there to gain political power and influence for Australia when what Bougainville needs are nurses, doctors and engineers.

Mr Watawi told Don Wiseman he thinks the Australian assistance is focused on the possible re-emergence of the former Australian owned mining company, Bougainville Copper Ltd the company which sparked the Bougainville crisis.



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Thursday, 23 August


Beaked whales may frequent a seabed spot marked for mining "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

DEEP DIVER  Beaked whales, such as this Cuviers beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), may have made the shallow seafloor depressions seen near a region designated for seabed mining.  ANDREA IZZOTTI/SHUTTERSTOCK

A series of seafloor grooves look a lot like those made by the deep-diving marine mammals

Carolyn Gramling | Science News | August 21, 2018

Whales may have made their mark on the seafloor in a part of the Pacific Ocean designated for future deep-sea mining.

Thousands of grooves found carved into the seabed could be the first evidence that large marine mammals visit this little-explored region, researchers report August 22 in Royal Society Open Science. If deep-diving whales are indeed using the region for foraging or other activities, scientists say, authorities must take that into account when planning how to manage future mining activities.

The Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone, or CCZ,...

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Wednesday, 22 August


Liberating wind of change in Geelong region "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

An energetic Sustainable Hour where two friends of the wind  Friends of the Earth Melbournes Yes2Renewables coordinator Pat Simons and community-owned Hepburn Winds community manager Taryn Lane  help us bust a couple of industrial wind farm and power price myths, along with how best to respond to the various visual pollution concerns that continue to be raised in local media, now that wind farm projects are finally beginning to materialise in our region.

Australias electricity sector is the nations biggest climate polluter. Irresponsibly, editors of local media and certain politicians refuse to acknowledge that we need to get off fossil fuels in order to deal with the existential threats of the climate change crisis and that wind farms happen to be an important part of the solution to that crisis.

We learn how the Victorian governments renewable energy targets create thousands of new jobs while solving terrible, painful and costly health problems related to the coal industry as well. As we have now entered the lead-up to the Victorian state election on 24 Novembe...


Mining Industry Wants Us All To Worship Its False Gods "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The Mining Industry loves to tell us how much it contributes to Gross Domestic Product and Export Earnings and falsely links these two metrics to our development goals (see a typical story below).

GDP and Export Earnings are two false gods that absolutely do not reflect the quality of life or standards of living for ordinary people. GDP and Export Earnings can be soaring while ordinary citizens are plunging deeper and deeper into poverty.

GDP and Export Earnings simply tell us how much money the mining industry is stealing every year.

GDP is the monetary value of all the goods and services produced in the country:

  • GDP is NOT a measure of the standard of living or quality of life.
  • GDP ignores externalities like pollution, environmental damage, social costs etc
  • GDP ignores where the wealth ends up and how it is distributed
  • GDP ignores access to basic services like health and education
  • GDP ignores where the value comes from a country selling off all its assets will have a high GDP until all its assets are sold, it will then be bankrupt!
  • GDP ignores the costs of government debt a country borrowing lots of money to fund its spending may have a high GDP until it goes bankrupt.

What the mining industry never talks about is how much tax it pays to the government, maybe because...


Small-scale mining training a need "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

A family panning gold in the polluted Jaba river flowing from Panguna copper mine. Photo: Friedrich Stark

Erebiri Zurenuoc | The National aka The Loggers Times | August 20, 2018

THE need for more small-scale mining training centres has been highlighted during the recent alluvial mining convention and tradeshow held in Lae.

Alluvial mining schools established in all four regions of PNG will cater for small-scale miners and developers in the industry who are not aware of the requirements.

There is currently only one training centre established by Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and that one is in Wau, Morobe.

Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke highlighted the need for more training centres but also said there were many challenges to that.

The budget has already closed but we still need to make sure this happens through a submission, he said.

This will happen only if there is support of politicians and governments of alluvial mining...


The new battle for Bougainvilles Panguna mine "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Rusting trucks at Panguna mine, Bougainville

Speculation about the future of the Panguna copper mine in Papua New Guineas autonomous region of Bougainville, which ignited a decade long civil war in the 1990s, peaked late last year when an application for exploration by former Rio Tinto subsidiary, Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), was put to a local vote.

Catherine Wilson | The Interpreter | 21 August 2018

The outcome revealed that the mine remains a contested site and that a new battle for its riches is deepening divisions among traditional landowning groups. Chris Baria, a Bougainville writer and commentator, who lived through what is known as the Crisis, explained the sentiment in a recent interview:

When those with mining interests meddle with Panguna, it makes people revisit the pain and suffering, and the horrors of war that the government wrought on its citizens for closing down a mine, which they felt had not compensated them enough for their loss....

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Wednesday, 15 August


Norway to Map Deep Sea Mineral Deposits "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Maritime Executive | 12 August 2018

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is readying to map potential deep sea mineral deposits in the Norwegian Sea, with an expedition due to get underway this month.

The Directorate has engaged Swire Seabed, which partners with Ocean Floor Geophysics, to carry out mapping of potential sulfide minerals on the seabed over the Mohns Ridge in the western Norwegian Sea. This is a spreading ridge in the Atlantic Ocean that separates two oceanic plates, where potential valuable minerals have been formed through hot volcanic sources. The focus of the expedition is not the active hydraulic systems such as black smokers, but rather non-active extinct systems that are now left as mineral-rich piles of gravel on the seabed.

The mapping will be carried out using an autonomous underwater vehicle, a Kongsberg Hugin AUV, which will map the seabed using a bottom-penetrating echo sounder, multibeam bathymetry, synthetic aperture sonar data, magnetometry and spontaneous potential field data.



Mayur set to drill Feni Island "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Field mapping at Matakangkaka Creek

PNG Industry News | 13 August 2018

MAYUR Resources says it is ready to mobilise a team do begin a drill program at its Feni Island copper-gold project in New Ireland Province.

This follows the completion of a detailed field mapping and sampling programme within the Matangkaka Creek area at Feni Islands EL2096.

The company says Matangkaka Creek is an eastern tributary of the Nanum River and is rated as one of the top three gold bearing streams in the Feni Island group. It is also near and upstream from the Kabang structure that hosts a 650,000 ounce gold resource.

The trip was undertaken by Dr David Lindley, Mayurs veteran expert geologist who has decades of experience on Feni, Mayur said.

Mayur has correlated this new information with historical data to finalise a drilling programme of up to 2400m. The programme of up to seven holes is focusing on the gold mineralisation in structures beneath a...


Papuan authorities shut mine over labour hiring dispute "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Photo: Mark Agnor 2014

Radio New Zealand | 14 August 2018

Authorities have closed a gold mine in Korowai in the southern part of Indonesias Papua province, following uproar over the company hiring newcomers ahead of local tribe members.

The Jakarta Post reports the mine was closed on Friday by the Papua Governor Soedarmo, along with the police and military chiefs.

Two helicopters that were to be used to transport workers to the mine site, were sealed at the Tanah Merah airport in Boven Digoel regency.

The mine is understood to employ about 3000 workers..

Separately a Papua councillor, John Jose Gobay, said the mine should be managed by the local residents of Korowai, as stipulated in the 2014 law on local administrations.

He urged the Papua governor to propose to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry to hand the mining site over to the local tribe.

Tuesday, 14 August


Construction Work Halted on Site of Fraudulent SABLs "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Fraudulent SABLs that the government has failed to cancel despite the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry are still causing conflict and injustice - see stories below.

This is what the Commission of Inquiry said about the SABL over Portions 2465C and 2466C.  

There was misrepresentation and fraud involved in the whole process [Report p164]

Landowner signatures were forged in a criminal act [p150].

The whole process was riddled with defects and flaws [p157] and it was obvious that officers from DLPP [including] Romily Kila-Pat deliberately decided to ignore and by-pass the existing protocols and practices [p153].

Those responsible must be held accountable for their unlawful conduct and actions [p165]

Read more about the CoI findings.


Source: Grace Auka Salmang, Post Courier

Enough is enough, was the plea made by landowners of Papa and Lealea villages of Caution Bay, Hiri during a peaceful protest on their land.

The locals peacefully fronted up at the Konekaru site yesterday where a construction was taking place and demanded the workmen conducting the earthworks to stop and move out of their customary land.

Chairman of the Papa delegation committee Pastor Joseph Baeau said several calls through peaceful protests have been made and yet controversial acquisition of land portion 2465C, 2466C and 2485C portions in Konekaru area still continuing.

There is no respect for the law. The subject land portion 2465C and this title where Konekaru Holdings Limited (KHL) and CJ Ventures Limited is holding is illegal, according to a commission of inquiry findings.

Mr Baeau and his committee are calling on Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko and his customary land advisory committee to fast track the COI recommendations, stop further illegal land grabbing and remove aliens from Papa customary land....

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