ISA resumes deep-sea mining discussion

The U.N. International Seabed Authority’s council commenced the first part of its 29th session on 18 March, setting the stage for two weeks of discussions aimed at progressing draft deep-sea mining regulations.

In his welcoming address, ISA Secretary-General Michael W. Lodge expressed his gratitude and optimism for the proceedings. “It is heartening to see many delegations present and poised to work in a positive spirit as we embark on the business of the 29th session.”

Lodge also praised the continued momentum through intersessional work, acknowledging the efforts of facilitators and coordinators for driving swift and focused progress toward a common goal.

“That common aim is the adoption of the regulations – a legal obligation pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and an urgent matter on the council’s agenda, representing a shared commitment of all negotiating parties,” Lodge said.

A growing number of countries, environmental groups, and companies have called for the ISA to impose a moratorium on deep-sea mining until the effects of such a practice can be better studied and understood. However, Lodge has dismissed those calls.

“We are still working on the basis that everybody wants to see regulations and there should be no mining without regulation,” Lodge told reporters at a news conference. “That seems to dispose of the so-called moratorium issue that there’s been some publicity about in previous years.”

Sources: ISA and E&E News

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