A pivotal moment in the history of deep-sea mining

Andrew Thaler for the Deep-sea Mining Observer The spring and summer of 2021 will likely stand as the pivotal moment in the history of deep-sea mining. Months of intense protest amidst significant at-sea progress on environmental impact studies and prototype testing were capped off earlier this week by the explosive announcement that the Republic of […]

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Why we’re calling on the United Nations to Protect Biodiversity Beyond Borders

Rebecca Helm, Nichola Clark, and Diva Amon for the Deep-sea Mining Observer The High Seas cover nearly half of Earth’s surface, and hold over 90% of livable habitat on the planet. Yet the High Seas  fall under no single nation’s jurisdiction (similar to the ‘Area Beyond National Jurisdiction’ (ABNJ)), and as a result, governance of […]

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Opinion: The Precarious Partnership Between Deep-sea Mining Contractors and Environmental NGOs

Opinion by Andrew Thaler, DSMO Editor-in-Chief Deep-sea mining occupies a unique niche in the annals of extractive exploration. Its modern manifestation owes as much to the surging demand of critical minerals as it does to the work of environmental organizations shining a light on the vast environmental and ethical catastrophes of terrestrial mining. In its […]

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© Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace

Major Brands Say No to Deep-sea Mining, for the Moment

Andrew Thaler for the DSM Observer On Wednesday, March 30, several major technology and automotive companies joined the deep-sea mining moratorium movement. Google, BMW, Volvo, and Samsung SDI (a Samsung subsidiary responsible for manufacturing small lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and other applications) signed on to the World Wide Fund For Nature’s Global Deep-sea Mining Moratorium […]

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ISA Must Improve Regional Plans—and Processes—to Protect Ocean Life

Opinion/Editorial by Megan Jungwiwattanaporn When countries began to contemplate seabed mining decades ago, their representatives assumed that the ocean bottom was featureless and lifeless, uninteresting except for the minerals that might be recovered from it. Now we know that the seabed is, in fact, a varied tapestry of physical features and marine life rather than […]

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Life Cycle Assessment will Play an Important in Decision Making for Deep-sea Mining

Maria Bolevich for the DSM Observer Last April, DeepGreen published a first of its kind life cycle analysis comparing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of land-based ores and deep-ocean polymetallic nodules. “Billions of tons of metal will be taken from the planet between now and 2050 to enable the clean energy transition,” says Gerard […]

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A map of some southern MPAs

X-marks the spot: Why are some large, remote marine Protected Areas so oddly shaped?

A bold, ambitious plan to protect the ocean is underway. 30 by 30 aims to secure strong environmental protection for 30% of the ocean by 2030. To do this, nations are creating new large remote Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that cover huge swaths of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and preclude exploitation within these regions.  […]

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Delegates struggle to develop Regional Environmental Management Plans during a global pandemic

Since the pandemic brought travel to a halt, the International Seabed Authority has been working to meet contractor deadlines and make progress on a variety of issues revolving around finalizing the mining code, facilitating workshops, and engaging stakeholders and experts through remote meetings. These efforts include workshops on the development of Regional Environmental Management Plans […]

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Ocean stakeholders discuss calls for moratorium on deep-sea mining.

Maria Bolevich for DSM Observer This fall saw an unprecedented emphasis on calls for moratoria on deep-sea mining. Several national deliberative bodies entertained discussions on supporting a moratorium, including within some contractor sponsoring states, while a public campaign, initiated by environmental NGOs who received a boost from public statements made by Sir David Attenborough, worked […]

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Commentary: COVID-19 and the (ab)use of the silence procedure at the International Seabed Authority

Pradeep A. Singh Pradeep Singh is a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (Potsdam, Germany). Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the scheduled July 2020 session of the Legal and Technical Commission, the Council and the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) could not take place in-person in Kingston, Jamaica. While […]

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