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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.

1 Aug 2022

DSCC Media Advisory

For release 1/8/22

This week, deep-sea mining negotiations in Jamaica enter their third week as backlash surrounding the nascent industry grows. Concerns surrounding transparency and the environmental impacts of the industry remained firmly at the top of the agenda for observers and many States present at International Seabed Authority (ISA) meetings last week. Meanwhile, global support for a halt skyrocketed as a new letter calling for a moratorium was launched, with more than 68,000 people calling on leaders to stop the industry before it begins. 

The ISA’s 168-member Assembly begins a week-long meeting today. The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition has been present throughout deep-sea mining negotiations in Kingston and continues to advocate for a moratorium on the risky industry.

Continue reading Deep-sea mining negotiations demonstrate that the destructive industry cannot go ahead

1 Aug 2022

Source: Eco-Business

Author: Elizabeth Claire Alberts, Mongabay

Delegates of the International Seabed Authority are currently meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, to negotiate a set of rules that would pave the way for a controversial activity: mining the seabed for coveted minerals like manganese, nickel, copper, cobalt and zinc.

But scientists and conservationists say there are considerable transparency issues at the meetings that are restricting access to key information and hampering interactions between member states and civil society.

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

Source: Policy Options

Authours: by Raphaël Deberdt, Philippe Le Billon

The electrification of our livelihoods, in particular the development of electric vehicles, will require massive amounts of minerals including nickel, cobalt and manganese, which are all found in huge quantities on the seafloor. Deep-seabed mining (DSM) could not only help scale up the supply of minerals needed for phasing out of fossil fuels but also prevent some of the destructive fallout of future land-based mining.

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