Mining in the Pacific: Principles and practices for environmental regulation

Evan Hamman, Aline Jaeckel, Calvy Aonima

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


This chapter gives an overview of past mining practices in the Pacific, drawing on notorious ‘onshore examples’ with poor regulation including in Papua New Guinea (gold and copper mining) and phosphate mining in Nauru and Banaba. The disastrous legacy of these ventures is still being felt across the Pacific which has traditionally relied upon other industries such as tourism, fisheries, and forestry for their meagre incomes. After discussing the legacy of terrestrial mining (including sand mining), the authors shift the focus to the relatively unchartered territory of deep sea mining (DSM). DSM represents the future of extractive activity in the Pacific, and large deposits are currently being explored and exploited by powerful international interests. This chapter highlights the severely underdeveloped (and under-evaluated) regulatory systems across the region despite some advances by jurisdictions like Cook Islands, PNG, and Fiji. This chapter draws on regulatory literature including the work of Braithwaite, Gunningham, Black, Baldwin, and Levi-Faur to make the case for a stronger ‘risk-based’ approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Law and Governance in the Pacific
Subtitle of host publicationClimate Change, Biodiversity and Communities
EditorsMargaretha Wewerinke-Singh, Evan Hamman
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9780429260896
ISBN (Print)9780367502898
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


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