Our resources

All That Blue

The Pacific Ocean is set to become the next site for the industrialisation of ocean resources under the wider Blue Economy framework. This ocean continent, stretching a third of the Earth’s surface, is once again being prised open into a frontier for natural resource grabs and extractive industry by powerful governments, institutions, their agents and financiers. Not only are these powerful forces making the same old promises of economic salvation for the region, their gospel requires the resources of the deep as a precursor to the great green energy transition – humanity’s only escape route from a global climate catastrophe.

PANG commissioned a research report in 2021 to examine where natural resources are, infrastructure development projects and the financial institutions funding these developments with a specific focus on international deep-water ports in four Pacific Island Countries. These countries are: Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu. Cook Islands and Tonga are sponsors of deep-sea mining in the area, Papua New Guinea was the first country to issue a commercial license for deep sea mining and Vanuatu holds geographic significance in the regional geopolitics.

International deep-water ports serve as important transportation hubs that facilitate the movement of goods both in and out of countries. These can connect businesses in local communities and worldwide markets. In developing countries, they function to support the exploration, exploitation and movement of raw materials to foreign jurisdiction.

In this case, the project assessed how these ports are not only contributing to the current economic activities in the countries, but also in the preparation for future extractive developments, in particular deep-sea mining.

The map tells the visual story of which aid donors are funding the ports in the region and what economic and geopolitical role they can play in securing access to and exploitation of ocean resources.

Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance

Established in 2009, the Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance (MILDA) is a regional civil society network that supports and coordinates community efforts to maintain control over our land, ocean and resources.
Recognising threats to customary land systems, our intention is to unite, organise and defend guardianship of Melanesian communities over our land, ocean, water, air and natural resources. We assert that the customary systems are the basis of life and community in Melanesia.
We aim to lead, coordinate and support the effective functioning of the MILDA network by mobilising to effectively address issues of concerns in Melanesia.

MILDA is connecting Melanesia and building networks locally, nationally and regionally to keep our people informed on the common issues affecting them and asserting their power and control over land and resources. MILDA also stands in solidarity with those advocating for their political freedom such as West Papua, Kanaky etc.

The Pacific Blue Line

Deep Sea Mining is Not Needed, Not Wanted, Not Consented!

The Ocean is the living blue heart of our planet. It is our common heritage, but also our common responsibility. We are its guardians. We recognise its significance and its essence as the basis of our Pacific identity and wellbeing. We Are the Ocean. In its preservation, we are preserved.

There is no scenario in which DSM is permissible. If it’s not safe in our EEZs, it’s not safe in the Pacific as a whole, and therefore not safe for the world. A total ban on DSM is the only way to ensure the integrity of the ocean, the heart of our planet. We therefore: • call for recognition that, as our common heritage, the ocean demands our common responsibility for its protection; • call on all Pacific leaders to join the growing ranks of governments, scientific authorities, CSOs, global leaders and indigenous groups the world over opposing the rush to mine the ocean floor and, in doing so, destroy our common heritage; and • welcome the stand taken by some Pacific governments of a moratorium on DSM within their EEZs but strongly urge all of our governments to move beyond their EEZs and support a global ban on DSM.

Tradepac - Pacific Trade Justice

Pacific-led development is intricately linked to trade and debt. Trade has been a part of our way of life for generations, however, ongoing attempts to have Pacific Island Countries bound by unfair international trade laws threaten Pacific peoples, their environment and their way of life. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are designed to limit what governments can and cannot do with their economies, meaning that many policies and regulations that support local industries, the environment, or community welfare aren't allowed. FTAs are used by rich nations as a way to gain and secure access to Pacific markets and resources with little benefits flowing the other way. The Pacific is currently dealing with a number of trade agreements ranging from membership to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER-Plus), the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), and more.

The Pacific, already having to deal with debt levels exacerbated by the climate crisis, have been suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19. The responses from Pacific Island governments to their new debt levels must not be driven by donor governments and instead should ensure that debt responses support the most vulnerable, communities and the environment. PANG works to challenge the narrow, neoliberal definition of development that is pushed onto our Pacific through the constraints on development options that legally binding trade agreements enforce. We defend the right for Pacific Island Countries to be economically self-determining.

Youngsolwara Pacific

Youngsolwara is a regional movement comprised of a collective of activists from the Pacific. We share common concerns on issues impacting our Pacific people and our islands. Youngsolwara is a movement birthed from the regional gathering, Wansolwara Madang Dance in 2014. The Madang Dance was a gathering of practitioners, academics, musicians, bloggers, artists, university students, community workers, social workers and activists, youth and church thinkers.

The Madang Dance provided the opportunity for youth and students who attended the meeting to have a separate space from the larger Wansolwara Movement to discuss issues concerning the Pacific through a young Pacific person’s perspective. Participants include students from the Divine Word University (PNG), University of Papua New Guinea (PNG), University of Goroka (PNG), University of the South Pacific (Fiji), West Papuan activists, Victoria University (New Zealand), Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG), Pacific Network on Globalisation (Regional), Pacific Conference of Churches (Regional) and other participants from Papua New Guinea.