Seabed mining: Destruction vs development

While the Catholic Church in the Oceania Region has joined the global fight against seabed mining and climate change, the Church is in no way opposing development.

These were the words of Bishop Charles Drennan from New Zealand.

He is part of the 80-man delegation that is in the country to attend the Assembly of Federation of Catholic Bishops Conference Oceania.

The vast ocean is the common home of countries and people in the Oceania Region.

The sub-theme; “A Sea of Possibilities”, captures the interdependency between the ocean and the people.

“The land and the sea depend so much on each other and therefore for the well-being of us and the future generations,” said Bishop Charles.

A sea of possibilities is a hopeful statement, the Bishop pointed out.

While the negative impacts of deep seabed and other marine industries are evident, Churches also recognise and understand their significance.

“Perhaps the Church, NGOs and aid agencies are somehow against development and business. But we also care very much for people’s employment.”

In light of this, the ocean has great rich potential as a means of growing responsible tourism and fishing industries.

“We want families to be satisfied in their jobs, we want parents to look at their children and say there are employment opportunities for them,” Bishop Charles further stated.

Carolyn Ure