But researchers warn the mining could trash entire ecosystems, by ripping up the sea floor or covering creatures with sediment. Early indications from trial mining efforts suggest the process is worse than expected, with long-lasting impact on sealife.
21 billion tonnes in this zone alone
could grow by up to 500%
governments like Canada, Germany, Fiji and Papua New Guinea
precautionary principle – not acting until we know what impact it will have
Early research shows this type of mining can be destructive.
common heritage of mankind
UN to negotiate the law of the sea treaty.
The ISA is, like some other UN bodies, a complex bureaucracy and has been criticised for lacking transparency. Even though all 167 nations which signed the law of the sea treaty are automatically ISA members, critical decisions can be made with far fewer.
ISA’s council, which has 36 members
NGOs and governments, has ignored comments and critique. Only a handful of the members have environmental expertise.
The council is also geared towards mineral extraction, with many members elected on the basis they already export minerals like nickel and manganese, have invested heavily in seabed mining technology, and already use significant volumes of these minerals.
Those two years were up on July 9th and the code isn’t out. That means it’s now legally possible to lodge mining applications.
United Nations body
power to permit – or deny – mining on the deep seabed, outside any nation’s exclusive economic zones
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