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Several countries ask the Marine Fund Authority to authorize deep mining

Several countries ask the Marine Fund Authority to authorize deep mining

Several countries such as Norway, the United Kingdom, Russia either Japan, present at the meeting of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which is held in Kingston (Jamaica), have requested greater agility in the elaboration of the regulation necessary for the authorization of the mining in the Ocean floors in international waters.

The Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) ends tomorrow some meetings that began on July 10, and from next Monday, July 24, the Assembly of the entity will meet.

The ISA is an autonomous international organization that organizes and monitors the exploration and exploitation of resources at the bottom of the ocean outside the jurisdiction of each country, and is made up of 167 countries and the European Union, although it also maintains a relationship agreement with the United Nations (UN).

The Authority, currently chaired by the British Michael W. Lodge, is studying the authorization of this activity in an area known as Clarion Clipperton, which is located between Mexico and Hawaii, and where manganese nodules have been found, components of great wealth for the technology industry.

Governments that support deep-sea mining companies, including the UK, Norway, Russia, Japan, India and the Cook Islands, have continued their calls for the industry to move forward, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) organization present at the meetings in Kingston explained.

Norway expressed, according to DSCC, its dissatisfaction that it could not submit applications for deep-sea mining until the necessary regulations were adopted.

And it is that most of the scientific community does not recommend an authorization for mining activities in the seabed, because more than 90% of species are not known, which would entail a serious loss of biodiversity, several researchers have affirmed.

For its part, Russia pointed out that the Legal and Technical Commission of the ISA “must consider” mining applications with or without current regulations.

While the UK delegation has asked “less hypothetical discussions and more action”, with the aim of completing the regulations for underwater mining, because “A solid regulatory framework is not obtained by stopping or delaying the negotiation, or by diverting from the objectives set as the Authority.”

On the other hand, more than twenty countries have come together to ask the ISA for a moratorium or precautionary pause on mining in the seabed.

The first were Fiji, Palau and Samoa in June 2022, joined a month later by Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Micronesia and Spain.

Since then, New Zealand, France, Germany, Panama, Vanuatu, the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Canada have joined until this July, and last Friday Finland, Portugal and Brazil did so, requesting a moratorium for ten years.

The Brazilian delegation, according to DSCC, advocated giving more time to science to better understand biodiversity and study the environmental impacts in deep waters of an activity that could be very harmful and irreversible.

This group of countries in favor of the moratorium intend to stop the legal provision that activated the island State of Nauru (in the Pacific). “on behalf of the prospective mining company that it sponsors” and that it would force the ISA to finalize and adopt regulations for seabed mining within 24 months.

Costa Rica, on behalf of countries such as Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Monaco, Panama, Portugal, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Vanuatu, has called for “no exploitation to be carried out without established rules, regulations, and procedures.”

The Costa Rican delegation affirmed that “activities in the area will be carried out for the benefit of humanity”which implies that in “In the current climate of risk and uncertainty, there can be no assurance that deep-sea mining will benefit humanity.”

Different organizations such as DSCC, WWF, Oceans North and Greenpeace International have ensured that long-term contracts authorizing deep-sea mining “They would be completely unacceptable.”

According to the organizations, “It would mean burdening future generations with damage from deep-sea mining that would take decades to repair.”

Forty years ago, when the United Nations Sea Convention was concluded, climate change and the biodiversity crisis “they were not known issues”, according to organizations. However, “The threats that these crises pose to the planet are now known, and deep-sea mining threatens to exacerbate them further.”

Therefore, they ensure that “a moratorium or a precautionary pause is essential” to mining activity in the sea.

Source: EFE

Source: Gestion

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