Do you like riddles? Then try this one on for size: what does your wallet have in common with Papua New Guinea?
Give up? OK, I’ll give you a hint: it’s got something to do with that little plastic rectangle with all the numbers on it.
That’s right, your debit card. You see, the world’s largest banks and investment firms are using the money they control — YOUR money — to finance mining projects that dump hazardous waste straight into oceans, rivers, and lakes. Papua New Guinea is ground zero for this problem.
Despite fierce local opposition and a legal battle that suspended operations for 19 months, the Ramu nickel and cobalt mine in Papua New Guinea is currently dumping around 14,000 tonnes of toxic mine waste into Basamuk Bay every day. Activities from the open-pit mine have polluted the water and destroyed fishing grounds. The indigenous Kurumbukari people were forcibly displaced from their ancestral homeland to make way for the mine, separating them from to their livelihoods, traditional way of life, and spiritual practice. The PNG National Fisheries Authority criticized the project, calling it “unsustainable socially, economically and environmentally.”
It’s Dirty. It’s Unnecessary. And it’s Wrong.
Ramu isn’t the only mine in PNG polluting critical water sources, and PNG isn’t the only country with this problem. Mining companies dump 220 million tonnes of hazardous waste directly into the world’s waters every year: more waste than the United States puts into its landfills.
That’s why today we are excited to announce the Ditch Ocean Dumping campaign. Earthworks, along with our coalition partners, are stepping up to stop this harmful practice — but we can’t do it without your help.
The banks couldn’t finance these projects without our money. Don’t let your money go to Waste! By propping up irresponsible mining companies, financial institutions like Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Bank of America, and JP Morgan are putting the health of our oceans and planet at risk.
Help us stop this outdated practice from making a comeback: in addition to Papua New Guinea, new projects that would dump mine waste into the ocean are a being developed in Norway, and the industry has its sights set on Chile.
Everyone has their own connection to water. It’s personal. For many indigenous communities, water is the heart of their cultural heritage and spiritual practice. Healthy oceans and clean rivers and lakes are also critical to reducing the impacts of climate change. So go ahead: find your personal water connection. Then jump in and help us Ditch Ocean Dumping!