DSCC reacts to yes vote for motion on deep-sea mining moratorium at IUCN World Congress

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) has today reacted to attendees at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) voting overwhelmingly in favour of an international moratorium on deep-sea mining.

“We are very pleased to see so many governments, agencies and NGOs voting for a moratorium on deep-sea mining; the support has been overwhelming,” said DSCC co-founder Matthew Gianni.

“Member countries of the ISA [The International Seabed Authority], including France which hosted this Congress, need to wake up and act on behalf of civil society and the environment now, and take action in support of a moratorium”.

Convened every four years the IUCN congress brings together leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia ‘with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges’.

The passing of Motion 069 also calls for a halt to the ISA issuing new contracts for mining and the exploration of mining sites ‘unless and until’ certain conditions are met. These include:

  • rigorous and transparent impact assessments have been conducted, the environmental, social, cultural and economic risks of deep seabed mining are comprehensively understood, and the effective protection of the marine environment can be ensured;
  • public consultation mechanisms have been incorporated into all decision-making processes related to deep-sea mining ensuring effective engagement allowing for independent review, and, where relevant, that the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples is respected and consent from potentially affected communities is achieved;

The motion comes as recent figures from a Trends Market Research study forecast that the global deep sea mining market is set to grow from US$650 million in 2020 to US$15.3 billion by 2030.

Earlier this year Samsung SDI, Google and Volvo Group pledged their support for a global moratorium on deep seabed mining initiated by BMW Group and WWF, amid concerns about its impact on ocean health.

Commenting at the time leader of WWF’s No Deep Seabed Mining Initiative Jessica Battle, said:

“The pro-deep seabed mining lobby is creating their own narrative by choosing to portray only some of what we know and don’t know. They are selling a story that companies need deep seabed minerals in order to produce electric cars, batteries and other items that reduce carbon emissions.”

Continuing she added: “But savvy companies that are committed to sustainability are seeing through that false narrative. Deep seabed mining is an avoidable environmental disaster. We can decarbonize through innovation, redesigning, reducing, reusing and recycling.”

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