Protecting Our Oceans from Deep Sea Mining: Updates from the ISA Meeting
25 July 2023
Over recent weeks, we've made significant progress in the fight to protect our oceans from the destructive practice of deep sea mining during the recent ISA Assembly meeting which ended Friday 21 July 2023. However, our work is far from over, and we need your continued support to ensure the well-being of our marine ecosystems.
Our delegation, along with allies from civil society groups and indigenous communities, made our presence felt both inside and outside the meeting room. Together, we raised our voices to remind delegates that there is a world beyond the ISA walls that is increasingly against mining the deep ocean.
The presence and voices of people from different organizations and communities, especially those from the Pacific region, played a crucial role in making our message heard during the ISA Assembly meeting.
Key Moments at the ISA Meeting:
Two-Year Rule Loophole
Intense discussions on addressing the two-year rule loophole: The meeting saw heated debates on how to handle the two-year rule loophole, which could allow mining applications to be approved without adequate regulations in place. This poses a grave threat to the delicate ecosystems of the deep ocean.
Fortunately, no agreement was reached on closing the two-year rule loophole. This means there is still hope to prevent mining applications from slipping through without proper safeguards.
‘Roadmap’ for Mining Regulations:
There were discussions on a ‘roadmap’ to fast-track mining regulations. Some countries sought to expedite adoption, while others, supported by Greenpeace and allies, pushed for stronger protections and a precautionary approach.
Indicative timeline for continued negotiations: The ‘roadmap’ now sets an indicative timeline for further negotiations on the ‘Mining Code’ over the next two and a half years, with a non-binding aim to adopt regulations by 2025. While this timeline is not ideal, it does provide an opportunity for further advocacy and scrutiny to ensure the best protections for our oceans.
Moratorium on Deep Sea Mining:
Encouragingly, the ISA Assembly held discussions on a moratorium for the first time in history. While no decisions were made, this marks an important step forward in addressing the growing opposition to deep sea mining.
What Happens Next at the ISA Meeting:
The next ISA Assembly meeting holds significant promise for our campaign. We expect discussions on a moratorium to intensify, moving us from negotiations focused solely on facilitating mining to finding space to discuss effective protection of our oceans from this destructive industry. This is a crucial opportunity to gather more support and work towards a meaningful decision to safeguard our marine ecosystems.
Transparency remains an issue, and effective participation at ISA meetings continues to be restricted. However, we remain steadfast in our fight to safeguard our oceans and marine life.
Sign the Petition to Stop Deep Sea Mining!
We want to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you who signed our petition, shared our message, and stood with us during this critical time. Together, we will continue to raise our voices, urging the ISA and its member states to prioritize the protection of our oceans over short-term economic gains.
Our work is not done, and we will keep you updated on further developments and opportunities for action. Let’s stay united in our commitment to protect our beautiful oceans and the life they support. We need your help now more than ever to protect our oceans from the threat of deep sea mining. By signing our petition, you can add your voice to the growing global opposition against this harmful industry.
Together, we can call on the ISA and its member states to:
- Close the Two-Year Rule Loophole: Ensure that mining applications cannot be approved without the necessary regulations in place, safeguarding the deep ocean from unnecessary risks.
- Support a Moratorium: Advocate for a moratorium on deep sea mining to provide time for comprehensive research and understanding of the potential impacts on marine life and ecosystems.
- Prioritize Ocean Protection: Urge governments to prioritize ocean conservation over short-term economic interests, safeguarding the long-term health of our oceans for future generations.
Join us in this critical movement to protect our beautiful oceans! Click the link below to sign the petition and be a part of this global effort to preserve our marine ecosystems:
Thank you for your unwavering support and commitment to protecting our oceans. Together, we can make a difference and secure a sustainable future for all life on Earth.