20 January, 2021

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

20 October, 2020

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.

 

15 October, 2020

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.

22 September, 2020

The DSCC wrote this letter to the Acting President of the ISA Council, respectfully requesting that Observers be notified of all deliberations taking place under the silence procedure, including prospective decisions.

27 July, 2020

Plans for the world’s first deep sea mine are taking shape in the waters off Papua New Guinea. The ocean floor is rich in gold, copper and other minerals in big demand around the world. But some scientists warn that digging up the seabed will destroy marine life, and Sir David Attenborough is among those objecting. BBC News science editor David Shukman reports.

Read more.

23 July, 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

30 June, 2020

Presentation title: The evolution of international law and the regulation of activities on the high seas in the deep ocean: a conservation perspective.

This presentation was delivered by Matthew Gianni, DSCC Policy Advisor, to the Energy, Environmental and Climate Committee of the Belgium Parliament on 24 June 2020.

9 June, 2020

The deep sea is the largest biome on Earth. This mysterious and varied place makes up 90% of the marine environment and plays a vital role in regulating our planetary systems, not least by absorbing and storing vast quantities of the carbon dioxide emitted into the air by human activity.

Learn more: