SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
19 June 2014
Volume 15 Issue 6

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Report on Madang Workshop

Munro Mortimer, SETAC Australasia Board Member

Papua New Guinea

The SETAC Australasia (AU) regional chapter held a two-day workshop in Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG), in November 2013. This was the second workshop of its kind held in PNG. The first workshop was held in 2010, also in Madang, when our society was still the Australasian Society for Ecotoxicology.

The venue for this and the previous Madang workshop was the Madang Resort Hotel & Conference Centre. This venue provides good quality on-site accommodation as well as good catering, conference and workshop facilities. It is easily accessible from other population centers as well as from Australia and Southeast Asia.

The workshop organizing committee comprised Ross Smith, Riall Gabuogi and Munro Mortimer. Sponsorship assistance was provided by BMT WBM, Barrick Porgera, Morobe Mining Joint Venture, Hydrobiology and SETAC Asia/Pacific. Participants were charged a registration fee set at a level sufficient to cover their accommodation costs and to allow the conduct of the workshop to be cost-neutral to SETAC AU.

Workshop participants
Workshop participants.

There were 31 workshop participants, mostly Papua New Guineans employed in an environmental impact assessment role, either in field or laboratory operations in the mining and related sectors.

Following the workshop, twelve PNG participants became SETAC members.

Presentations were given on a wide range of topics including:

  • A case study in marine oil spill response
  • Health risks associated with exposure to cadmium in volcanic dust
  • Management of emergency water discharges from mines and the definition of trigger values
  • Phytoremediation of closed mine sites in PNG
  • The role of time-integrated sampling devices in monitoring programs
  • Challenges of environmental monitoring at a mine site in PNG
  • Rope access methods for steep slope rehabilitation
  • A case study in the application of direct toxicity assessment following a mixed pesticides spill
  • Methods for analysis of cyanide species in environmental materials
  • A case study in cadmium contamination from an aircraft maintenance workshop
  • Assessment of environmental impacts from an accidental mining discharge in PNG
  • Use of the enzyme SDH as an effects marker downstream of a mine site in PNG
  • Sources and mechanisms of metal contamination in two PNG river systems
  • A case study in the minimisation of environmental impacts from petroleum exploration in PNG
  • Biodiversity in bauxite streams
  • Pitfalls in the use of biomonitors
  • Quality assurance in water sampling

Workshop discussion sessions covered:

  • The organisational structure of SETAC and SETAC AU and the potential for SETAC to foster the professional development of persons working in environmental assessment and protection roles in PNG
  • Potential regional approaches to developing water quality guidelines for PNG

Future PNG workshop prospects:

Participants considered the workshop a great success and voted with enthusiasm to continue the workshop series on a biennial basis.

Author’s contact information:

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