After two years of advocacy and 70,000 letters sent, conservation organizations across Canada are celebrating the federal government’s decision to prohibit all oil and gas activities in marine protected areas.
“The public played a really big role in this change,” said Stephanie Hewson, staff lawyer at West Coast Environmental Law, in an interview with The Narwhal.
The risks and uncertainties of experimental seabed mining are too great to allow this industry to ever proceed in Papua New Guinea.
This was the view shared by seabed mining advocates, together with locals of West Coast Namatanai and representatives of Duke of York Islands, East New Britain Province, during an open forum in Namatanai.
After the gathering, a joint statement was issued, saying: “As New Irelanders we have two world class mining in Lihir and Simberi gold mine. We have logging operations and oil palm industry operating in the Province. We have run down plantations that can be used for cocoa or copra project that support local people.
* The following article is available only in Dutch. To summarize: the Belgian dredging company DEME has temporarily stopped its experiment to harvest manganese nodules. Technical problems prevent the Patania II device from digging for these nodules for the time being. *
De komende maanden zou Deme een proefprogramma starten waarbij mangaanknollen van de diepzeebodem worden opgehaald. In de Stille Zuidzee ten westen van Mexico is de Patania II te water gelaten, een rooimachine die in staat is op de bodem van de zee te opereren. De machine is met een navelstreng van zes kilometer verbonden met een onderzoeksschip aan het zeeoppervlak. Precies met deze verbinding is het de voorbije dagen misgelopen.
The area to be investigated by the research project “Mining Impact” is located in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the northeast Pacific at approximately 4,500 metres water depth shrouded in complete darkness. Here, in an area of five million square kilometres, manganese nodules are abundantly found on the seabed. Their metal content offers a potential for commercial deep-sea mining. In recent years mineral raw materials from the deep sea have become the focus of some countries and companies in order to secure their supply with high-tech metals.
No flag can claim the high seas, but many nations exploit them. As a result, life in the two-thirds of the oceans beyond any country’s territorial waters faces many threats that are largely unregulated, including overfishing and the emerging deep-sea mining industry.
Far from every shore, beyond the jurisdiction of any country, lie the vast high seas, full of life and biodiversity. They cover nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the world’s ocean and harbor life, ranging from whales, turtles, sharks, and dolphins to deep-sea corals, hydrothermal vents, and, experts believe, a variety of undiscovered sea life.
Today the high seas face increasing threats from human activities, including fishing, pollution, and seabed mining, but there is no comprehensive conservation mechanism in place to protect the biodiversity that thrives in these waters and maintain a healthy ocean.
That could soon change. From March 25 to April 5, governments will reconvene at United Nations headquarters in New York to continue negotiations on the first treaty to protect the high seas by 2020.
Amnesty International is today publicly challenging leaders within the electric vehicle industry to make the world’s first completely ethical battery within five years. At the Nordic Electric Vehicle (EV) Summit in Oslo, the organization is highlighting how lithium-ion batteries, which power electric cars and electronics, are linked to human rights abuses including child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and environmental risks which could undermine their green potential.