The Issue: Deep-seabed mining has been proposed as an alternative source of minerals, with large deposits present both within and beyond national jurisdictions. In areas beyond national jurisdiction, the International Seabed Authority is mandated by the United Nations to organise, regulate and control mineral-related activities for the benefit of humankind as a whole, as well as to ensure effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects that may arise from such activities. Current challenges to robust protection of the remote deep sea include, for example, the scarcity of environmental baseline data and the lack of thresholds for harmful effects. Proactive development and implementation of comprehensive management practices, frameworks, and policies prior to the onset of mining are needed to ensure the protection of deep-sea biodiversity and ecosystem function.
The Working Group: The DOSI Minerals working group (180 experts) constitutes a broad spectrum of scientific, industry, economic, conservation, legal and policy expertise. As collated working group responses and as individuals, we provide expert opinion on deep-seabed mining related concerns through written responses, policy briefs, publications, side-events, interventions, workshops and symposia.
Current Activities: The Minerals Working Group is participating in the 28th ISA Council meeting. The second part of that meeting is taking place this July, and our team has prepared three Information Sheets on key environments that may be affected by future seabed mining: