Recommendations on Deep-Sea Mining
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Recommendations on Protecting deep-sea biodiversity on seamounts from destructive fishing practices
- PDF (English)
The DSCC together with Greenpeace, Bloom and France Nature Environment have called on Barbara Pompili, Minister of the Ecological Transition to support calls for a moratorium on deep-sea mining at the upcoming meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD/SBSTTA/24).
DSCC Briefing 26th ISA December Council Meeting | December 2021
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)
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)
On Agenda item 8: Statement by the President of the Council on the Work of the Council | December 13, 2021 (Assembly Day 1)
Earthworks Intervention on Agenda item 13: Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) | December 9, 2021
On Agenda item 13: Report of the Chair of the LTC (morning) | December 9, 2021
On Agenda item 13: Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) | December 9, 2021
Earthworks Intervention Agenda item 14: Report of the Finance Committee | December 8, 2021
On Agenda item 14: Report of the Finance Committee | December 8, 2021
Earthworks Intervention on Agenda item 12: Draft Regulations for the exploitation of resources in the Area (Roadmap) | December 7, 2021
On Agenda item 12: Draft Regulations for the exploitation of resources in the Area (Roadmap) | December 7, 2021
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
On Agenda item 8: Status of contracts for exploration and related matters (periodic reviews and relinquishments) | December 6, 2021
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)
The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition’s (DSCC) 2020 Report informs on Fisheries, Deep Seabed Mining and Ocean Governance.
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
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.
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.
This is the formal written submission from the DSCC to the virtual European sub-regional consultation process on the implementation of the United Nations Environment Assembly Resolution 4/19 on Mineral Resource Governance, submitted September 10, 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
On February 3, 2020, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition issued a memo to over 100 Permanent Missions to the United Nations and related organizations in New York. The memo refers to a workshop entitled “To explore the Case for Sourcing Battery Metals from Ocean Nodules and Nori’s Program to Assess Environmental and Social Impacts” scheduled for 5-6 February 2020 in San Diego and organized by speculative deep-sea mining companies DeepGreen and NORI.
In a rush to move this industry forward, proponents such as the workshop organizers have positioned the discussion around the questions of “when and how”, rather than the more fundamental question of “if” deep-sea mining should ever be permitted, and under what circumstances. Individuals and organizations around the world are increasingly calling for a moratorium on deep-sea mining out of concern for the damage it would cause to the fragile and yet-undiscovered ecosystems and species of the deep, and in the context of the urgent need to leave behind the extractive economic model in favour of a transformational approach that respects our planetary boundaries.
In this memo, we have compiled at a topline level some of the key arguments against the need for deep-sea mining.
Read the memo here (PDF).