© Alan Jamieson / Newcastle University The Atlantic, 27.02.2019, Author: Ed Yong Alan Jamieson remembers seeing it for the first time: a small, black fiber floating in a tube of liquid. It resembled a hair, but when Jamieson examined it under a microscope, he realized...
“Our current knowledge of the deep sea is not sufficient to protect the unique species that live there from mining operations. It is alarming to see contracts being granted for these still largely unexplored and vulnerable areas. We need a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining exploitation.” – Carl Gustaf Lundin, director of International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) of Global Marine and Polar Programme.
Chinadialogue ocean, 25.02.2019, Author: Jessica Aldred
It’s one of the coldest, darkest places on earth, full of marine life – much of which is yet to be discovered – with a seabed rich in mineral deposits.
In the last decade, the floor of the deep ocean that lies outside the jurisdiction of any one country has been increasingly explored. A number of parties are assessing the size and extent of mineral deposits that could provide raw materials for everything from batteries and jet engines to wind turbines and mobile phones.
Some deep seabed mining has already taken place within countries’ waters: Japan in 2017, and in Papua New Guinea where the controversial Solwara 1 mining project has ground to a halt. But this year will see a critical global debate on how to manage the resources that lie in “the area” – international waters of more than 200 metres deep that cover nearly two-thirds of the earth.
The question of who mines these – and how – is due to be formalised in a “code” being drawn up by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the UN–appointed body responsible for managing the riches of the deep seabed for the “common heritage of mankind”.
Tasked with what some say is an impossible mandate of promoting the development of deep seabed mining while ensuring the practice does not harm the marine environment, the ISA’s 168 members must agree on how these fragile and unique ecosystems will be protected, how the potentially multibillion dollar industry will be regulated, how any profits will be shared equitably, and how it can demonstrate accountability and transparency. […]
The entire article can be found here.
Chinadialogue ocean: https://chinadialogueocean.net/