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The Australian company PanAust is planning to open the largest mine ever proposed in Papua New Guinea’s history in the Sepik, close to the mighty Sepik River. The Sepik is part of the third-largest rainforest in the world and is known for its incredible biodiversity. 

If approved, the proposed Frieda River mine could severely damage this unique place and the hundreds of thousands of people that rely on it for their survival. We are campaigning to stop the mine together with Project Sepik, our local partner on the ground.

Will you stand with the Sepik People and the fight to #SaveTheSepik?

Please sign and share this petition calling for the Sepik River Basin to receive a World Heritage Listing.

Sign the petition now

WE ARE CAMPAIGNING TO STOP THE MINE BECAUSE:

THE COMPANY HAS NO SOCIAL LICENSE TO OPERATE

There is no evidence of Free, Prior and Informed Consent of all impacted Customary Landowners including communities on the mine site and along the river. In May 2020, a total ban on the mine was unanimously proclaimed by the Traditional Clan Leaders of 28 Haus Tambarans (spirit houses) along the river, representing more than 78,000 local people. The document would be admissible in a court of law.

WE MUST PROTECT A CULTURAL HERITAGE

The Peoples of the Sepik maintain a strong spiritual connection with the River, waterways, forests and animals of the Sepik: the River is their source of life and the River and its surrounds must be protected as a whole. The area is also the site of the Karawari caves, which host possibly the greatest example of rock art in the whole of Melanesia. The mine could devastate all this forever.

THE UPPER SEPIK HAS BEEN TENTATIVELY LISTED FOR WORLD HERITAGE STATUS

The Upper Sepik River Basin was listed by Papua New Guinean Government on its ‘Tentative List’ for nominations for World Heritage Status in 2006. The diverse habitats of the basin are globally significant for biodiversity. The area contains two Global 200 eco-regions, three endemic bird areas and three centres of plant diversity.

THE SEPIK RIVER IS OF INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

With the converging crises, we face globally, now more than ever we have to protect and defend the last pristine places on earth like the Sepik River. The international significance of the River and the threats posed by the Frieda River mine have been recognised by ten United Nations Special Rapporteurs in powerful joint statements to key stakeholders, including the Australian and PNG Governments.

REJECT THE MINE, SAVE THE SEPIK


Walking Fish Productions with additional footage sourced from Frederick Ipara have created a video in collaboration with Project Sepik and the Save the Sepik campaign. 

This video follows the steps of local campaigners who travel the Sepik river to bring awareness and collect the views of the people on the Frieda Mine.

“We need to bring this message out to the world: That, this is not only Papua New Guinea’s river and rainforests, but Papua New Guineans are custodians of something that must belong to the world.”


—EMMANUEL PENI, COORDINATOR OF PROJECT SEPIK