29 June, 2022

DSCC made a statement to the Aarhus Convention Working Group on Public Participation in International Forums, which resolved as follows:

“The Working Group calls on Parties to the Aarhus Convention to take action to improve public participation in the International Seabed Authority processes in accordance with art 3(7) of the Aarhus Convention.”

 

Read the full statement here.

 

2 December, 2021

DSCC Briefing 26th ISA December Council Meeting | December 2021

DSCC Interventions

Earthworks Intervention on Agenda items 9 and 10: Annual report of the Secretary-General (ISBA/26/A/2, and ISBA/26/A/2/Add.1) and Report on the implementation of the strategic plan and high-level action plan (ISBA/26/A/8-ISBA/26/C/23 and ISBA/26/A/9)| December 14, 2021 (Assembly Day 2)

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 9: Annual report of the Secretary-General (ISBA/26/A/2, and ISBA/26/A/2/Add.1)| December 14, 2021 (Assembly Day 2)

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 8: Statement by the President of the Council on the Work of the Council | December 13, 2021 (Assembly Day 1)

  • PDF (English)

Earthworks Intervention on Agenda item 13: Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) | December 9, 2021

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 13: Report of the Chair of the LTC (morning) | December 9, 2021

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 13: Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) | December 9, 2021

  • PDF (English)

Earthworks Intervention Agenda item 14: Report of the Finance Committee | December 8, 2021

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 14: Report of the Finance Committee | December 8, 2021

  • PDF (English)

Earthworks Intervention on Agenda item 12: Draft Regulations for the exploitation of resources in the Area (Roadmap) | December 7, 2021

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 12: Draft Regulations for the exploitation of resources in the Area (Roadmap) | December 7, 2021

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 11: Report of the Secretary-General ISBA/26/A/8-ISBA/26/C/23 on the implementation of the decision of the Council in 2019 relating to the reports of the Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission   | December 6, 2021

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 8: Status of contracts for exploration and related matters (periodic reviews and relinquishments) | December 6, 2021

  • PDF (English)

On Agenda item 11: Implementation of the decision of the Council in 2019 relating to the reports of the Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission (ISBA/26/C/3)

  • PDF (English)
12 November, 2021

The DSCC have written to the ISA Secretary General, the LTC and Council members. highlighting concerns surrounding the NORI environmental impact assessment, asking that:

(1) The EIS not progress and request that it be withdrawn for its complete lack of – indeed the absence of even an attempt to include – the critical environmental baseline

(2) to express our serious concerns with the procedural shortcomings of the public consultation undertaken.

Read the letter here

16 April, 2021

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition’s (DSCC) 2020 Report informs on Fisheries, Deep Seabed Mining and Ocean Governance.

20 January, 2021

1 December, 2020 – Letter to the President of the Council on Blue Minerals Jamaica Ltd. Application

24 November 2020 – Letters to the ISA on the Silence Procedure

23 November 2020 – Letter to the Secretary-General on Tonga Offshore Mining Ltd Acquisition by DeepGreen Metals Inc.

6 October 2020 – Letter the Finance Committee on ISA Proposal to Charge Observer Fees

22 September 2020 – Letter to the Acting President of the Council on Observers and the Silence Procedure

5 June 2020 – Letter to the Secretary General on ISA Webinars, Transparency and Observer Participation

22 May 2020 – Letter to the Secretary General on India Environmental Impact Assessment Process

20 October, 2020

Willaert, Klaas. “Public participation in the context of deep sea mining: Luxury or legal obligation?.” Ocean & Coastal Management 198 (2020): 105368.


Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the ocean floor and its minerals are governed by a comprehensive international regime, which determines by whom and under what conditions these natural resources can be prospected, explored and exploited.  The main principles are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Implementation Agreement, while more detailed rules are included in specific regulations of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The ISA has issued rules for the first phases of deep sea mining activities (prospecting and exploration), but has yet to adopt exploitation regulations. A draft version is however being developed and provides a good indication of the current state of play. With regard to transparency and public participation, significant improvements can be identified, but considering the influence of NGOs and their crucial role as watchdogs, the power of third-party stakeholders can still be deemed fairly limited. This article analyzes the existing principles and available options regarding transparency, public participation and access to justice in all phases of deep sea mining activities, identifies the main weaknesses and suggests possible corrections, all the while assessing whether such provisions should be considered a luxury or rather the implementation of an enforceable legal obligation.

 

15 October, 2020

The ISA has issued three sets of draft guidelines and standards for deep-sea mining for public comment. These are the ‘Draft guideline on the preparation and assessment of an application for the approval of a Plan of Work for exploitation’; the ‘Draft standard and guidelines on the development and application of environmental management systems’; and the ‘Draft standard and guidelines on the form and calculation of an environmental performance guarantee’.

Below is the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition comments on these draft guidelines and standards.

22 September, 2020

The DSCC wrote this letter to the Acting President of the ISA Council, respectfully requesting that Observers be notified of all deliberations taking place under the silence procedure, including prospective decisions.

23 July, 2020

Mining of the deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction, known as the Area, is administered by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and may be carried out by a contractor sponsored by a State Party. It is vital that States consider the complex legal risks, responsibilities and potential liability for damage that can arise from the sponsorship of seabed mining activities in the Area | Author: Duncan Currie LL.B. (Hons.) LL.M