Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has quite literally opened the floodgates for 100 million tonnes of toxic waste.
In a controversial two to one decision last week, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by indigenous landowners to stop the Metallurgical Corp of China (MCC) from using the Bismarck Sea as a dumping ground for the Ramu Nickel mine.
The 1083 landowners who filed the appeal last September, argued that MCC's plan to dump 5 million tonnes of waste a year into the coastal waters would decimate their livelihoods. The judges who dismissed their claim alleged that the landowners failed to prove that the Submarine Tailings Disposal (STD) plan was a Public and Private nuisance.
"This ruling makes a very sad christmas story for us”, said one of the plaintiffs in the case. "We fought to save some of the last remaining pristine waters in Papua New Guinea and this is what they give us."
On the other hand, MCC and Highlands Pacific (a Canadian company that owns a small stake in the Ramu mine), couldn't be happier with the Supreme Court's move. After all, they and their shareholders can now look forward to reaping the benefits of the Ramu mine at the expense of the environment and the people who will be hammered by it.
Read the Supreme Court decision at Papua New Guinea Mine Watch.
For a close look at the risks and impacts of the Ramu mine, here is the documentary film, UPROOTED, narrated entirely by landowners.
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