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20 March, 2023

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition Reaction


An article published yesterday (19 March) in the New York Times highlights concerns by International Seabed Authority (ISA) State delegates surrounding a lack of impartiality of the ISA’s Secretary General. The article points to the pro-mining agenda of the ISA Secretary General – the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) calls for urgent reform of the Authority.

As ISA negotiations get into their second week in Kingston, Jamaica, The New York Times has reported that the ISA Secretary General has pushed diplomats that sit on the ISA’s Council to accelerate the start of industrial-scale mining. According to interviews with State representatives, Germany, Costa Rica and others have stated that the ISA Secretary General, Michael Lodge, has “stepped out of line by resisting efforts by some council members that could slow approval of the first mining proposal.”

In a letter sent by Germany to the Secretary General on March 16, Franziska Brantner, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, stated that Lodge has “actively taken a stand against positions and decision making proposals from individual delegations.” highlighting that the German delegation were “seriously concerned about this approach.” In a reply by Lodge, published by the New York Times, he instructed Brantner and his staff “not seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.” 

Furthermore, Costa Rica reminded the Secretary General of his administrative functions in the March 8 intersessional meeting and that the ISA Council, formed of ISA member States “are the ones in charge and the Secretary General has administrative functions.” 

This is not the first time the ISA Secretariat and the Secretary General have come under fire. Last year it was revealed that the ISA shared confidential information with prospective deep-sea miners The Metals Company, in order to help them to secure the supposedly most profitable locations for deep-sea mining in the Clarion Clipperton Zone.The report also highlighted Secretary General Lodge’s previous comments regarding the widespread criticism leveled at the deep-sea mining industry, which has included mocking public concerns about the potential environmental harm deep-sea mining would cause to ecosystems and biodiversity.

The DSCC are present in Kingston throughout negotiations, advocating for a moratorium on the risky industry in the face of a lack of social license; environmental and climate risks; and a lack of confidence in the Authority to regulate the industry.

This is another article that highlights a deeply rooted pro-mining agenda of the ISA Secretariat, which is charged with safeguarding the ‘common heritage of humankind.’ It is vital that the Authority is reformed as soon as possible, so that it becomes a body that we can all have faith in to act on behalf of humankind.”

Emma Wilson, Policy Officer for the DSCC

“If deep-sea mining were to go ahead, it would dwarf all other industrial activities in the ocean. The DSCC is seriously concerned by these new reports. It is clear that the only way forward is a moratorium – an official and global pause to deep-sea mining operations.”

Sofia TseniklI, Deep Sea Mining Moratorium Campaign Lead for the DSCC.


16 March, 2023

DSCC Media Release

For release 16.3.22

An international meeting in Kingston, Jamaica begins today, to negotiate regulations that if approved, would permit the largest mining operation in human history to begin in our ocean, as early as July 2023. The meeting will take place from 16-31 March, however, as negotiations get underway, concerns surrounding the emerging industry are at an all-time high. The Deep Sea Conservation (DSCC) will be present throughout negotiations in Kingston. 


7 March, 2023

From April 2023 onwards, IUCN NL and partners Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (AlTo) Indonesia, A Rocha Ghana, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) Philippines, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), Natuur & Milieu and Stop Ecocide NL will start a new project: Bottom Line!. A coalition of civil society organisations will be working towards a fair energy transition with the lowest possible impact on people and nature, both in The Netherlands and in the sourcing countries. The project is made possible thanks to a contribution of 1.8 million euros from the National Postcode Lottery.

The demand for minerals such as copper ore, cobalt, nickel and manganese is rising explosively due to the energy transition. These are needed for batteries for electric cars and wind turbines, for example. It is indisputable that we need to accelerate the transition from fossil to renewable energy. But how do we ensure that we make this shift as fairly as possible, while minimising the negative impact on people and nature?

Bottom Line! approach

Firstly, this means reducing energy consumption. In addition, we must set stricter requirements for the responsible extraction of raw materials. A bottom line has to be established and monitored: a clear limit that indicates where and how mining may take place, so that the damage to people and nature remains within set boundaries.

Coenraad Krijger, Director of IUCN NL, says: “We urgently need a system change that encourages us to be more frugal with our resources and extract them responsibly and in a way that is truly future proof.  With this project, we will promote a fair, responsible energy transition for people and nature.”

Mining-threatened areas

Bottom Line! will focus on three areas with crucial value for global biodiversity which, if current mining practices continue unchecked, will be severely impacted by our energy transition: the Tompotika Forest in Indonesia, threatened by nickel mining; the Atewa Forest in Ghana, where there are plans for bauxite mining; and Tampakan in the Philippines, where indigenous communities are resisting large-scale mining of copper ore in a vulnerable river basin. Moreover, we will literally dive into the deep sea of international waters, where ocean health, carbon sequestration capacity and vulnerable species yet to be discovered would be put at risk if mining were to begin.

Raising awareness among politicians, businesses and the public

Bottom Line! initiators: ‘In and around these areas, we will strengthen the voice of people and organisations that stand up for nature and human rights, and advocate for stricter mining laws and regulations (including no-go zones) and their enforcement. We will use the experiences and stories from these land- and seascapes to raise awareness among local and international governments – including a targeted focus on Dutch and European policy makers – the business community, financial institutions and end users. In doing so, we will call on the public and private sectors for more emphasis on reducing consumption, and on reuse, recycling and circular design. When mining does take place, there must be a broad application of the IRMA standard for responsible mining, taking into account communities, employees and the natural environment.’

Jonne Arnoldussen (managing director Postcode Lottery): ‘The Postcode Lottery has supported the work of IUCN NL since 2000, and is delighted to be able to make an additional contribution of €1.8 million through Bottom Line! thanks to our participants. The project encourages the energy chain to be more frugal and cautious with the extraction of resources. And what we also consider very important is the protection of the deep ocean: the deep sea floor is a target of the mining industry, and there are few regulations protecting this area.’


About Bottom Line

Bottom Line is a 2.5 year project of IUCN NL, Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (AlTo) Indonesia, A Rocha Ghana, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) Philippines, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), Natuur & Milieu and Stop Ecocide NL, supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Together, this strong coalition will establish a bottom line for responsible mining in four mining-threatened landscapes in Indonesia, Ghana, the Philippines and the international waters of the deep sea. In doing so, we also cooperate with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) and various national and international network partners.

5 March, 2023

Reacting to the conclusion of a High Seas Treaty this morning, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition said: This historic Treaty will enable the protection of biodiversity on the High Seas including the deep ocean. It marks a turning point which we hope is the start of a new era when humanity prioritises the health of the ocean and not just what we can extract from it. 

Sofia Tsenikli of the DSCC said; “Time is not on our side, and while the Treaty comes into force, it’s imperative that States take all actions necessary to protect the ocean, including the fragile ecosystems and biodiversity of the deep sea. As an immediate action, we call on all States to join the growing momentum in support of  a moratorium, precautionary pause or a ban on deep-sea mining, and we urge the few flag States still allowing their vessels to bottom trawl on seamounts to agree to phase out the practice in ABNJ.”

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, and its over 100 member organisations are committed bringing the Treaty to life to safeguard the health of the ocean now and for generations to come. 


For further information please contact 

Patricia Roy (EU) +34 696 905 907

Sofia Tsenikli +30 6948941052

22 February, 2023

Media Release

Wednesday 22 February

The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) has given the green light to destroying 30% of vulnerable deep-water corals and sponges and failed to protect hotspots for life in the deep. 


9 February, 2023

Media release

9th February 2023

Today, during a leadership forum at IMPAC5 in Vancouver, Canada called for no deep-sea mining to take place, if protection of the marine environment from harm cannot be ensured. The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) calls on the Canadian government to increase its ambition and call for a moratorium on the risky industry.

Continue reading Canada must raise ambition and hit the brakes on deep-sea mining