Country Positions

4 Aug 2022

Belgium

  • Noted no consensus on the proposal to allow contractors observer status.
  • Stated that the delegation are all for inclusivity, “but for efficiency, it is good for member states AND observers who work with joint statements or to work together in any other way so that was the gist of my comment”
  • On the two year rule: “During part 1 and part 2 of the Council this year. Some progress has been made on the exploitation regulations but the task ahead is enormous. We should continue the work in a structured and efficient manner. The adoption of royalty mechanism threshold and standards, regional environmental plans and financing are only 2 of them.”
  • “The regulations should be based on the precautionary approach which does not allow for artificial deadlines. The likely outcome is that at the end of the 2 year period this will not be done. Legal uncertainty is something we do not need. The stakes for mankind are too high. We look forward to the November discussion on the what if scenario. As seen in the roadmap we agreed upon in December 2021.”
  • On the next assembly meeting – “It will be a bit strange that we will be holding 2 weeks of council meetings after the deadline has passed. Lots of interventions where a lot of possible legal questions have been raised. Council should meet prior to the deadline. Another two weeks might be necessary to advance even more.”

Continue reading Key statements by States – 4/8/22

2 Aug 2022

Costa Rica

  • On the ISA’s award for deep sea research, Costa Rica highlighted that the ISA should recognise young people but to also listen to them, remain in contact with them, to take very seriously their contributions and heed closely with what they are telling us. The delegation highlighted Dr Diva Amon who “continues to contribute in note worthy manor.”

Continue reading Key statements from States – 2/7/22

1 Aug 2022

Acting Assembly President

  • “Stated that he Common heritage of mankind belongs to all of us. The eyes of civil society are on us also, and thank and encourage them to continue to engage while respecting our rules.”

ISA Secretary General

  • Stated that “…the council meeting worked very well and was quite a seamless experience for delegates despite technical challenges.”

Chile

  • Stated that “We all know that there’s an elephant in the room… and we have not had the opportunity to debate in person and I believe this is the best opportunity to discuss here in the assembly. I believe that more than taking a decision, we need to hear one another and present various ideas in order to find what to do next. We are less than a year away from the deadline mentioned in Part 15 of the implementation agreement, of Part 11 of UNCLOS, and this is why we decided rather than waiting until next year, that we need to consider to  discuss this now and present our ideas on what we hope to do.”

Costa Rica

  • Supported Chile’s proposal, “with enthusiasm” stating that “Since this is a matter that many of us have mentioned in our interventions, we’ve never had a specific space to discuss it. Time is running out, we have a deadline that some consider that some consider meaningful and others not, and we are making efforts to develop regulations, but all of us in the council noted there is a lot more work to do.”
  • Called for strengthening of ocean governance in and beyond national jurisdiction and that they look forward to BBNJ treaty .
  • The delegation stated their commitment to continue to constructively engage in ISA negotiations to develop a solid, fair, environmentally sound regulations that guarantees protection of marine environment as per Article 145.

Nauru

  • Stated that “Chile’s submission for this discussion will derail the 27th session and the roadmap” and that the delegation are cognisant that “there may come a time to discuss this, but Chile’s position will lead to polarization and politicising of Nauru’s legal right to exploration and exploitation, especially as a pacific state, we cannot support this inclusion, there are elements we need to counter, and we have not prepared.”

Spain

  • Supported the inclusion of Chile’s proposed agenda item on the two year rule stating that “It seems to me that it is always good to speak as this strengthens transparency and increases visibility. The goal isn’t to reach position, but to exchange opinions.”

UK

  • The UK delegation stated that the discussion on ‘what if’ scenarios was scheduled by the Council for the 31st of October to November meeting and that has been in the roadmap since December.

Tonga

  • Tonga stated that they “had not had ample time to coordinate this request with capital, so there is a sense of uneasiness, without receiving proper direction, however I recognize the intent of the proposal is to open discussion but we recognize that we are still in the middle of two year rule so there is still time to take action. I feel that in due course we will have to come to that in terms of trying to force the way forward after the two year period.”
  • They also stated that sea levels will continue to rise and that SIDS more vulnerable with current baselines threatened.

Brazil

  •  Stated that Chile’s proposal was important and that they “believe it is important to include it in the agenda because the time has come, maybe not to discuss in depth, but to discuss methods and a way to move forward with this so therefore the Brazil delegation would like to support the proposal to include the topic.” They highlighted the need for greater understanding of human activities on the ocean and full transparency.
  • They also called for promotion of deep sea literacy and “fundamental steps towards strengthening the ISA role in the ocean global governance.”
  • The delegation added that “A robust code of conduct, standard & guidelines must be put in place before any activity is approved. Interrelated with ISA mandate. The ISA needs to ensure coherence between our mission and the evolution of international law, for example BBNJ. “

China

  • Called to improve ISA regime and that the development of regulations is a priority. The delegation added that regulations need to balance exploitation and protection based on scientific facts and evidence, strengthen and improve regime 
  • China also called for the promotion of the sustainable development of the seabed, which cannot be achieved without progress of science, orderly use of resources, sharing of benefits, collaboration and solidarity.

Monaco

  • Stated that “these resources can be exhausted, even if technology can allow for their extraction it could lead to risks.”

Canada

  • Stated that they are seeking the conclusion of a BBNJ treaty in 2022 and are committed to the development of robust regulations of mineral resources that ensures effective protection of marine environment and sound governance.

Russia

  • The Russian delegation stated that “Along with Antarctic, atmosphere and space, the world ocean became a sphere where internationl governance has been imposed. Large reserves of mineral resources – development potential not fully realised. Minerals such as nodules are only found in the oceans. Will lead to meeting demand of whole range of industries and facilitate more friendly sources of energy.”

UK

  • Stated that the health of the ocean has been significantly degraded due to human action including by industries directly regulated by UNCLOS.

Italy

  • The delegation stated that the supply of raw materials, energy, prospects for economic growth largely depends on the sea.
  • Italy stated that they are strongly committed to the sustainable use of maritime resources and creation of regulation system for exploitation of resources of Area, an ecosystem-based approach and the precautionary principle.

Burkina Faso

  • Called to make sure framework at service of protection of common heritage of humankind for future generations.

Togo

  • Togo stated the need to establish legal order to facilitate activities linked to the sea, conservation of marine resources and protection of the environment.

The Dominican Republic

  •  Highlighted the need to consider the common heritage of humankind while guaranteeing equitable distribution of benefits based on needs of countries.

Portugal

  • The delegation stated that future generations’ wellbeing is linked to wellbeing of oceans.

29 Jul 2022

Ghana (on behalf of the African Group)

  • Supported the operationalisation of an Economic Planning Committee (EPC) “as soon as possible.”
  • The delegation stated that “As the recent United Nations Oceans conference has highlighted, there is a need to scale up ocean action based on science for the implementation of SDG 14 and the preservation and protection of the marine environment.”
  • Ghana supported the approval of the ISA’s MOU with the African Union and requested member states to support the MOU.

Italy

  • On operationalising an EPC, the delegation stated that “we cannot at this stage forecast revenue from deep-sea mining so this is premature.”

Chile

  • The delegation highlighted the absence of certain experts in the ISA’s Legal and Technical Commission, including economic accountants, economists commercial engineers, lawyers, experts in private law and environmental ecologists.

UK

  • The UK stated that “we think that the time has come to take the steps to put the [economic planning] committee in place as the council and the ISA takes forward. It’s important work.”

Canada

  • The delegation stated that the “economic planning commission would contribute a level of expertise that would be complementary to the current work on financial mechanisms of a contract as well as the various mechanisms that will be implemented for the distribution of benefits at the point of exploitation.”

China

  • Stated that discussing “EPC operationalisation now is a little premature.”

Costa Rica

  • Supported the operationalisation of an EPC commenting that it is very important to jump start it so can start developing policies as well as carrying out functions of assessments on price of minerals and supply and demand.

France

  • The delegation stated that it is “a little too soon to create EPC, conditions are not yet there.”

Mexico

  • Supported the operationalisation of the EPC

Jamaica

  • Stated that the EPC should be operationalised before the first plan of work for exploitation is agreed

Argentina

  • The delegation stated that “the time has come to start establishing the EPC.”

Cameroon

  • Supported the operationalisation of the EPC, “given that the mining exploitation of seabeds could begin in the near future.”

Belgium

  • Called for operationalisation of EPC before approval of 1st plan of work for exploitation.

28 Jul 2022

Chile

  • Called for transparency in auditing requesting the Council use the UN auditing system.
  • The delegation expressed their displeasure for the timing of conference centre renovations.
  • They highlighted that relating to program expenses, a report stated that “the council approved a roadmap for the study of the draft regs for exploitation in 2022 which will lead to the finalisation of regs in 2023.” They called for clarification and whether the ISA Secretary General meant to say is that the Council agreed it was necessary to accelerate the work, but that nothing was agreed until everything is agreed.” and they didn’t understand why that line was included.
  • Chile stated that contributions from all members of the authority are of equal value.
  • The delegation stated the importance of considering ecosystem services.

Continue reading Key statements from States – 28/7/22

27 Jul 2022

Spain

  • Remarked on the “organization of this meeting, not being in the conference headquarters, and we think every delegations should be able to speak in the language of the United Nations… we are okay with moving forward with English but at the same time, we’re not saying this is the appropriate way of conducting negotiations with the authority because we are forfeiting our rights. We are not native English speakers, so we are in this disadvantage in this negotiation.” The working group facilitator replied that “We absolutely agree with you. We would have expected for all the audio equipment to have been checked before the meeting starts and thrilled to be working… We don’t like it either”.
  • Spain also commented that “when possible, we need to avoid over regulation given that as such, the legal framework is very complex.” The DSCC urged caution with streamlining “if that means principles are to be removed…. Environmental protection, transparency, including access to information, public participation and review procedures, common heritage of humankind, an ecosystem approach, the precautionary principle, polluter pays, accountability, a prohibition on loss of biodiversity, and best available scientific information are all relevant.”

Continue reading Key statements from States – 27/7/22

26 Jul 2022

Ghana (on behalf of the African Group)

  • Called for developing States have a fair chance to participate in the activities in the area, stating concerns that “that elements and mechanisms designed to give meaning to the principle of the common heritage of humankind risk being eroded”
  • The African Group also stated concerns that the number of reserved areas available to the Enterprise would decline.

Brazil

  • Raised concerns raised about contractors that were unable to comply with obligations and that these issues must be followed closely by ISA to allow for more transparency. They stated that it wasn’t too much to expect that names of contractors, by the same way that States are part of a list when in arrears – giving the Council opportunity to know which contractors not up to challenges.

Chile

  • Noted with concern that there is not full fulfilment of contract-based obligations by some contractors on individual based obligations and that some are obtaining an advantage over others. This situation should be remedied ASAP.
  • The delegation called to be informed of the names of these contractors.
  • Chile said that some contractors have not certified financial statements or inadequate statements. If there are difficulties in fulfilling these activities, the delegation asked if we are ready to engage in much more complicated financial and technical work with regards to exploitation.
  • On NORI, a subsidiary of The Metals Company, Chile stated that “this company has expressed interest starting exploitation activity. However, it’s not in a position to fulfil requirements in the area of environmental impacts as established by this body for the exploration phase. So we must wonder, if NORI cannot fulfil obligations in this exploration phase, can we be sure that they will during the exploitation phase?”

Italy

  • Stated that the Council is not informed on the identity of contractors that are not fully compliant with their obligations and “Italy believes that Council should be duly informed about entities not performing at the same satisfactory level as others. This is relevant when there is delay in collecting sufficient environmental baseline data and temporal variability of relevant environmental practices, which is crucial for definition of threshold, which feeds into environmental regulations. This should be carefully taken into account during the exploration phase, when exploration activity should be thoroughly assessed.
  • They also warned that some contractors are relying on the work undertaken by other contracted areas. This is not acceptable. One of the missions of exploration licences under the Common Heritage of Humankind is to generate knowledge for the whole international community.
  • “Regarding the application for approval of a plan award for exploration by Circular Metals Tuvalu Ltd, Italy observes with concern the unfolding of the events after Tuvalu withdrew its sponsorship. The request by CMT to postpone the analysis of its plan of work until CMT changes its nationality. Sponsorship is a wake up call for all of us to reflect and possibly agree on a definition of effective control, including in the exploitation context.

Germany

  • Stated that “e note with concerned that the environmental management and monitoring plan submitted by the contractor NORI is still insufficient, despite plans to carry out a mining test during the next weeks or months.”
  • “In general we find the entire process of NORIs EIS submission in three pieces in order to meet the one year deadline to be deficient. The first early and premature draft submitted in July 2021 only contain a rudimentary site specific environmental baseline data. The following report submitted on March 2022, was the missing environmental data then lacked the EMP, which was not submitted until two months later. In order to bring the process to a positive conclusion. We expect NORI to provide sufficient and thorough answers to the Commission’s questions on the EMMP before the test mining could be included in the plan of work.“

Costa Rica

  • Called for more time to review important documents and be notified of their publication.
  • Costa Rica stated that they had the same concern as Italy – noting that potential to change nationality and sponsorship was a surprise – is there effective control if that is easy to change?
  • The delegation also questioned the timing of the two year rule, commenting that “In many parts of report, there are mention of obligations not fulfilled due to limitations caused by COVID – but what Costa Rica do not understand is why the pandemic wasn’t taken into account in activating a 2-year deadline, since the request arrived during the worst of pandemic. They called for this to be taken into account now as we consider whether deadline needs to be fulfilled and whether the rule has truly been activated. 
  • The delegation stated that they would like more information especially on the question on who the contractors are that are not complying

Norway

  • Agreed with Costa Rica on effective control and the transfer of rights.

Jamaica

  • The delegation highlighted that some contractors seem to be relying on work in other contract areas which is not consistent with individual obligations in contract Areas and should be kept under careful review.
  • They also stated that it remains unacceptable that some contractors do not feel it necessary to respond to the Legal and Technical Commission and cannot understand why it would have difficulty, such as more details on programme of activities to understand how developing its baselines. They stated that this lack of response in any area requires further action and should be brought to attention of sponsoring states and kept under review by Council.

Argentina

  • Agreed with Italy, Costa Rica and others regarding Tuvalu’s rescission, underscoring the concept of effective control.

Spain

  • Concerned that some contractors did not undertake environmental studies in last year, in spite of the fact that ecosystem studies are improving – this continues to be a point to be monitored. Contractors should rigorously fulfil obligations on enviro matters. Spain added that supervisory and control functions are upmost importance in environmental matters and the highest level of fulfilment is needed in their regard.

Federated States of Micronesia

  • FSM stated that the LTC referenced existing language on sites or objects of archeological or historical nature in exploration regulations, which the Commission might have thought were sufficient. The delegation stated such references were not sufficient when considering REMPs in general, especially considering experiences in the Northwest Pacific, where such cultural heritage and traditional knowledge are alive and vibrant and not archeological, historical, or otherwise outdated – there are proposals in draft exploitation regs to reflect these issues more broadly.

Belgium

  • Called more transparency for names of contractors in default, calling for the Authority to act more vigorously in giving teeth to its rules.
  • The delegation added that when there is a serious breach the Council is notified – who decides what is a serious breach? Is that somewhere in the rules for the LTC?

New Zealand

  • Echoed concern expressed about some contractors not complying fully and wanted to take this opportunity to reiterate need for full and effective compliance.

Nauru

  • Stated that they did not appreciate NGO attempts to dictate to a member State stating that it is untenable based on the participation of NGOs and that no member State has made such a statement. They added that civil society does not share the State responsibilities and there has to be some respect of State’s treaty obligations. The delegation claimed that this behaviour would not be tolerated in the GA and should not be encouraged at the International Seabed Authority.
25 Jul 2022

New Zealand

  • The delegation stated: ” New Zealand shares the concerns that others have expressed about the prospect of deep-sea mining occurring before we have appropriate safeguards in place. This includes robust regulations that ensure the effective protection of the marine environment and sufficient scientific knowledge of the deep ocean, which would allow for robust assessment of the environmental effects of this activity.”
  • “It is New Zealand’s view that mining cannot and should not take place in the absence of these safeguards. New Zealand agrees with those who have expressed the view that paragraph 15 of Section One of the annex to the 1994 agreement does not require the council to adopt exploitation regulations at the end of the two year period. Nor does that require the council to automatically approve a plan of work at that time. Rather, this provision requires the council to make best endeavours to complete regulations within the prescribed timeframe. If that work remains unfinished at the end of the two year deadline, the council was not required to adopt regulations that remain incomplete.”
  • “In saying this, New Zealand will continue to work in good faith in the development of regulations with a strong view to ensuring that any regulations adopted above all ensure the effective protection of the marine environment.”
  • The delegation stated that “Test mining itself is likely to result in harm to the environment. In fact, to understand potential effects, it’s almost necessary that it will result in some harm.”
  • The delegation called for the word “serious” to be deleted from regulations, commenting that serious harm is too high a threshold.
  • New Zealand suggested a proactive approach to prevent unplanned events and that regulations currently only require monitoring and mitigation if harm or serious harm has already occurred, which may be too late.

Mexico

  • Mexico stated that “…Participation by an independent experts should not mean the responsibility is transferred from the contractor. It must be accountable for implementation and any insufficiencies in terms of that implementation. Mexico is not in favour of the plans being of the responsibility of the authority or third party. This is in line with the results based approach under which this draft regulation comes in, which is supported by delegation. In the same vein, my delegation stresses the importance of ramps before expedition activities understand that the planning activities cannot be started unless there’s a ramp in place in the area.”

Chile

  • In line with interventions from France, Chile stated that “All this information must be transparent, published in a legible manner. We’ve had conversations with scientific experts present at ISA meetings, and many of them are not able to read the Deep Data information. I thought it was just me because I’m a bureaucrat… but the scientists themselves can’t either, so something is happening there. We are not fulfilling the responsibility under UNCLOS to publish in a transparent and understandable way the information we are compiling to the scientific community. The information is collected and provided, but we are falling down somewhere. We must fulfil our responsibilities under UNCLOS in this regard and provide the information that is required.”
  • The delegation called to include marine litter and underwater noise in regulations.
  • Chile called to delete the word ‘serious’ from regulations.

Costa Rica

  • The delegation called for “evaluation by independent experts” and called for evaluation to “cover the whole life cycle of contract.”
  • Costa Rica warned that recent studies have shown that underwater noise as a result of deep-sea mining problem is larger than we previously thought.
  • The delegation supported only using the word harm in regulations in line with Art. 145 to prevent “harmful effects” on the marine environment.
  • Costa Rica called for independent auditors to be used.
  • Costa Rica stated that the issue of effective control is vital.

Trinidad and Tobago

  • Called for consideration to be “given to ecological characteristics and recovery time when considering time for independent monitoring.”
  • The delegation supported others in removing the word ‘serious’ from regulations.

United States

  • The delegation called for independent monitoring in addition to monitoring undertaken by contractors and that “the monitoring conducted by the contractor is to occur for the entire duration of the exploitation phase of the mining operation.”

Canada

  • The Canadian delegation raised concerns that test-mining “should not be used as a form of disguised exploitation.”

France

  • The French delegation stated that test mining should be conducted in an area that reflects the zone of future exploitation.
  • The delegation called for regulations to include marine litter and noise, hazards that are now better documented.
  • France called for more clarity on how independent auditors will be chosen by the ISA.

United Kingdom

  • The UK delegation called for test mining to be regulated and have an EIA
  • The delegation also commented that if you go test mining and it doesn’t show harmful effects, then you have effectively checked a box, but the effects of any test mining need to be fed into the larger process (EIAs and EIS) to ensure no harm is done.

Italy

  • Italy called for test mining to be subjected to “robust environmental impact assessment procedures, similar to those envisaged in the exploitation regulations.”
  • The delegation requested to keep marine litter and underwater noise in regulations as these are emerging threats to the underwater environment.

Argentina

  • Called for reference to chemical pollution

Spain

  • Spain requested that noise and litter be included in regulations, which were “particularly important for the fishing sector.”
  • Called for Auditors to be independent so that assessment is rigorous and useful.

Monaco

  • The delegation called to maintain references to noise & marine litter which could be generated by mining activities.

Federated States of Micronesia

  • The delegation proposed “inserting a reference to the coastline in this draft regulation, because in article 145, which talks about the prevention, reduction, and control of pollution and other hazards associated with activities in the area, it does reference the coastline in connection with the marine environment.”
  • FSM supported other delegations who called for removal of “serious” before harm. They asked delegations to consider the use of “serious harm” in other parts in draft regualtions.

Ghana (on behalf of African Group)

  • The delegation called for the deletion of “serious” so that regulations encompass all harmful effects.

Australia

  • Australia supported New Zealand’s proposal to delete ‘serious’ before the word ‘harm’ in regulations.

Russia

  •  Asked who would pay for damage to the marine environment if a contractor doesn’t have any funds to cover the damage.
22 Jul 2022

Costa Rica

  • “I would like to begin by reiterating the call made by Costa Rica on the first day of the meeting, and the request that we as GRULAC made in writing to the Secretariat: let us allocate space within the room for observers: civil society and academics. All these days we have seen empty seats, and tables with leaflets occupying spaces that could be occupied by observers. We cannot fit all of them, but we can assign  3 or 4 places that I am sure they will be willing to take care of distributing among themselves. Preferring empty seats than having  observers in the room is not the image that we as the Authority want to give to the world, at least not the GRULAC delegations. Firstly, it is unacceptable, and secondly, it is a decision for the States Parties.  That is why we join Chile’s call for spaces for observers in this room to be allocated starting next week.”
  • “Humanity faces very serious environmental problems, many of which are directly reflected in the health of our ocean, and which,  because they have not been addressed in time, have been impossible to control, despite all the efforts and commitments achieved. I’m talking about issues like overfishing, biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, climate change.”
  • “But we have now a new situation that could become a terrible threat to the ocean and to the planet that we can do something about.  I am referring the start of seabed mining if we do it before we have enough scientific information to comply with the mandate of the effective protection of the marine environment, as required by Article 145.  This threat has been exacerbated by the activation of what we now know as the two-year rule.”
  • “We have been saying for several days that we believe in the importance of meeting all the strictest environmental standards to protect the marine environment. We have mentioned several articles of Part XII of UNCLOS and we have referred to and quoted the text of Article 145 more than 60 times, my delegation has been keeping track. But what we have not yet said, the real elephant in the room ,is that if we really want to be coherent, the only way to comply with Article 145, at the moment, is to commit ourselves to not start the exploitation of the seabed until we have enough data to be able to make informed decisions.”
  • “In other words, it is not possible to commit to compliance with Article 145, and at the same time insist on starting to mine, knowing that we do not have enough scientific information to be able to effectively protect the marine environment, its ecosystems and biodiversity from the harmful effects of mining. There are many studies by  very respected scientists that detail all these gaps , starting with having the environmental baselines, as mentioned by Mexico, as well as information on the effects and impacts of mining, as mentioned by Germany and hence its proposal for test mining.”
  • “For this we must define environmental objectives and goals, establish a global research agenda that allows us to generate new and sufficient ecological, biological and environmental information on the deep sea and seabed, as well as synthesize existing information.  We cannot make decisions based on evidence if we do not have the necessary information. In other spaces we can talk about “best available science”. Not in relation to the seabed, because there is so little data that is not enough to be able to make informed decisions. Here we must talk about “sufficient scientific evidence”, and that is what we must dedicate ourselves to, to get that evidence.”
  • “Some will say that all mining presents risks to the environment.  And so it is. But seabed mining in the Area is different: it is the only resource we govern as a global community. It is also the only resource in human history that we have the opportunity to regulate before its exploitation is underway.  That is why  we have the enormous responsibility to do it well, taking all the necessary time.”
  • “There are those who express their  concern based in some studies that indicate that in about 30 years the terrestrial mining resources necessary for the transition to electric transportation will run out. 30 years dedicated to the exploration of the deep sea and the seabed would give an immense opportunity to explore it and to be able to make decisions based on enough data to protect its biodiversity and ecosystems.  We are not saying that we have to wait 30 years. But  years are not enough, not three, possibly not five … and certainly the year left until July 2023 is not enough, not even in the projections of the most optimistic, if we are realistic.”
  • “That is why Costa Rica believes that as beneficiaries but also responsible for the  Common Patrimony of Humanity, we must act with caution.  We must act with caution. That caution requires us to implement a precautionary delay to the start of seabed mining. History presents us with a long list of situations that we could have avoided if the precautionary principle or approach had been implemented. Let us not allow this to become a late lesson from an early warning.”
  • “Finally, we want to say that the invocation of Article 15 does not mean that our only option is to pass a regulation in a hurry, one that is clearly unable of fulfilling the duty of protection.  The same article contemplates the possibility that it the regulations might not be concluded, in which case it  says that in case a plan of work  is presented it can be provisionally approved. The conditions of that provisional approval will be our decision. We may put the provisional environmental measures that we consider appropriate, as well as all the conditions that we consider necessary to comply with Article 145. Or we can decide  not to approve it.” 
  • “We do not know what the future will look like, neither for us as delegates nor for the ocean. What is undeniable is that as representatives of our countries and of humanity we have an immense responsibility that fate has placed in our hands. We can get it  right and truly commit ourselves to comply with article 145. Let us continue to work on the elaboration of the most robust and solid regulations , from the environmental point of view, but also from the point of view of transparency and governance;  lets support, encourage and direct resources towards the necessary scientific research; and let us pledge not to submit or approve  plans of work until we have filled the gaps in scientific information and can say  without any doubt, that we can effectively protect the marine environment from any damage arising from activities in the area.”

Canada

  • “Any regulations must ensure effective protection using the precautionary approach using scientific based decision making. This aligns with the high level panel.”
  • “Being a coastal state to 3 oceans, on which we rely on, Canada is a friend of the ocean. We reiterate our commitment to ocean health at the recent UNOC, including our support for 30×30.”
  • “We take note of recent interventions on the 2 year rule and calls for a moratorium, and we look forward to productive discussions so we can decide collectively on the best approach in the spirit of the agreement.”
  • The delegation stated that “it is impossible to offset for damage to the seabed if you consider all the scientific information” and therefore they could not support the term “offset” in regulations.

Belgium

  • Stated a preference for “REMPs for particular areas to be in place before a plan of work for an area can be considered” and that the delegation “Don’t want a tight deadline for developing the REMP, the two year deadline we are currently experiencing leads to shoddy work.”

Ghana

  • Stated that coastal states consultation should “extend to any adjacent coastal states.”
  • Called for the inclusion of a “no mining” scenario.

Germany

  • Shared concerns of Costa Rica on offsetting

Russia

  • The delegation agreed with Costa Rica and others that “indeed it is impossible to offset the harmful effect on the environment”. They continued “However, if any effect is is sustained by the region, perhaps the contractor may offset that by taking action. So, to protect the coral reefs in another part of the global ocean, so, this is a type of an offset so, offsetting measures be taken else where therefore, perhaps as far as offset is concerned”
  • The delegation also queried whether “we should give an alternative is that no deep sea mining is done at all.”
  • Russia also stated that “it is evident that some of the guidelines must be adopted before any plan of work is accepted and of course before exploitation. Without standards and guidelines there will be nothing protecting those areas.”

Federated States of Micronesia

  • Called for reference to the impacts of “light and noise” in regulations.

Tonga

Tonga stated that they were “concerned by the apparent lack of progress in respect to the identification and preparation by the Commission of the phase two standards and guidelines.”