Today the European Commission published the EU agenda on International Ocean Governance, announcing its intention to “prohibit deep-sea mining until scientific gaps are properly filled, no harmful effects arise from mining and the marine environment is effectively protected”.
Source: Sustainable Ocean Alliance
Author: Annie Greenberg
Congressman Ed Málaga of Peru has introduced a bill calling for a deep-seabed mining moratorium position from Peru. This is a critical step toward protecting the health of the ocean. The bill was cowritten by Sustainable Ocean Alliance Peru and SOA’s Youth Policy Advisory Council, and is supported by The Oxygen Project, ecOceánica, AIDA, and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.
Source: News Ghana
Author: Gideon Sarpong
Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) Ghana have joined the global call for a moratorium on deep seabed mining during an African dialogue on deep seabed mining which took place last Thursday in Accra.
Source: Yahoo news
On May 2022, over 200 scientists, leaders, youth advocates and ocean champions took part in the Blue Climate Summit in French Polynesia. Their objective was to advance ocean-related solutions to climate change through concrete, actionable projects. The Blue Climate Summit Outcomes Report was published today on the Blue Climate Initiative website. The report identifies deep-sea mining of the most urgent threat to the ocean.
Author: Emma Page
Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) and Greenpeace Aotearoa delivered a petition to Green Party MP Eugenie Sage and Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer at Te Whare Paremata (Parliament).
The petition, signed by over 35,000 New Zealanders, called for the ban of seabed mining.
Author: Koroi Hawkins
Representatives of Pacific civil society and conservation groups are calling on the New Zealand government to show regional leadership and support a moratorium on deep sea mining.
Source: California Senate
The state Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee of California voted unanimously in support of The Seabed Mining Prevention
The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative published a new briefing paper addressing the potential devastating environmental impacts and significant risks of financing or supporting deep-sea mining activities. Designed for banks, insurers and investors, the paper highlights that the financing of deep-sea mining activities is not consistent with UNEP FI’s Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles and therefore strongly discourages financial institutions to support this nascent sector.
Indeed, the deep sea contains many of the most pristine ecosystems on our planet and plays a crucial role in regulating the climate and mitigating climate change. Plans to mine this unique and complex area of our planet would create irreversible ecosystem and habitat loss, as well as permanently destroy invaluable carbon storage.
This briefing paper is designed to help banks, insurers and investors stay away from unsustainable economic activities and consider their portfolios in light of the damaging nature of deep-sea mining activities. It is the last of a series of briefing papers on harmful marine extractives, following papers on dredging & marine aggregate extraction and offshore oil and gas.
UNEP FI convenes a global financial community focused on the ocean and sustainable use of marine resources. Discover its range of resources for financial institutions on shipping, seafood, ports, marine renewable energy, coastal tourism, ocean-linked waste management and coastal infrastructure.
Pacific representatives today called on the New Zealand Government to urgently support an international moratorium on deep seabed mining.
Source: New Security Beat
Author: David Michel
In practice, seabed mining could prove neither economically viable nor environmentally sustainable. Economically, long-term demands for critical minerals are highly uncertain, depending upon rapidly evolving technology pathways, and could largely be met from existing global terrestrial reserves. Emerging innovations, such as battery technologies requiring fewer critical minerals, and circular economy models recycling raw materials, suggest the green transition can be realized without mining the seabed.
Environmentally, DSM poses considerable risks. Mining impacts could spread over hundreds of thousands of km2 of the ocean, devastating fragile marine fauna, damaging important habitat, and discharging harmful wastes. Especially worrisomely, DSM could stir up seafloor carbon sediments, releasing CO2 that could exacerbate ocean acidification and add to climate warming. DSM operations could also conflict with established environmental and economic assets including fisheries, marine protected areas, shipping lanes, and submarine cables and telecoms terminals. Yet very little of the deep ocean has been studied, leaving large knowledge gaps and scant baseline data from which to build meaningful impact assessments or effective management policies.
Developing DSM could also spawn new geopolitical tensions as major powers jockey to control seabed resources. Some analysts, for example, argue that China’s claims to the South China Sea reflect in part Beijing’s ambitions to assert sovereignty over the mineral deposits under those contested waters. Similarly, seabed minerals may help explain Chinese overtures to several Pacific island states, at times discomfiting nations that consider the region their backyard. China’s neighbors likewise worry that Chinese DSM exploration in the Indo-Pacific furnishes Beijing with “dual use” knowledge—such as underwater surveillance and topographical mapping—that could be adapted to military advantage. Mining activities, in turn, could be used to justify greater Chinese naval presence in the region.
Rather than the springboard for an incipient resource bonanza or impending great power confrontation, DSM now appears clouded in economic, environmental, and regulatory uncertainty. Whether and how any deep sea mineral gold rush will pan out, if at all, remains to be seen.
Achieving the green energy transition and averting the climate crisis will require critical minerals. Acquiring these minerals by DSM would entail trade-offs between the social and environmental benefits of the technologies they enable and the social and environmental risks of extracting resources from the ocean floor. At present, the international community possesses neither sufficient knowledge of the deep ocean environment to accurately assess those trade-offs nor adequate regulatory and institutional frameworks to manage mining the seabed. The world should not pursue DSM without them.