Researchers call for alternative approaches to mining marine minerals from the deep seafloor.
The ocean hosts an inconceivable wealth of marine life and diverse habitats, most of which remains unknown and unseen. International plans to mine marine minerals from the deep seafloor threaten this largely unexplored biodiversity hotspot. States are currently seeking to develop a legal framework for deep seabed mining. In cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, an international team of researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) has published a new study warning against a rush to exploit deep seafloor resources and calling for coordinated efforts to develop alternative approaches.
The international community is currently developing a legal framework for the management of deep seabed mining in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Prior to agreeing such a framework and before potentially harmful mining activities could commence States need to achieve a common global understanding of the rights and obligations of different actors regarding the seafloor. This is the recommendation of an international team of authors from the IASS, TMG – ThinkTank for Sustainability, the University of Auckland, and Globelaw.
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