Deep-sea mining is rapidly approaching the commercial mining phase in multiple oceans, both in areas within and beyond national jurisdiction. We urgently need to identify and develop comprehensive, ecosystem-based management practices for deep-ocean environments subject to mineral extraction. Transparent criteria for deep-sea institutional and corporate social responsibility also need to be established.

Proactive development of management practices, frameworks and policy prior to the onset of commercial mining will enable protection and preservation of the marine environment, whilst enabling the use of seabed mineral resources.

The DOSI Minerals Working Group constitutes a broad spectrum of scientific, industry, legal and policy expertise. As collated working group responses and as individuals, we provide expert opinion on deep-sea mining related concerns through written responses, workshops and symposia.

Current Working Group Activities

The International Seabed Authority Exploitation Environmental Regulations (EREGS) Workshop, was held at SCRIPPS Institute of Oceanography Feb 1 – 3, 2017.

The Working Paper on the Draft Regulations on Exploitation for Mineral Resources in the Area was released Jan 2017 and can be found on the ISA website.

This workshop discussed the ISA Draft Environmental Regulations for Exploitation and began to formulate a plan for the Minerals WG to undertake a science-based assessment of the Draft Regulations. The first two outputs from the workshop are now available online; the EREGS Workshop Report Synopsis, and the Letter to the ISA with the comments from workshop participants.

If you would like to participate in the future Minerals WG response to the Draft Regulations, please contact Verena Tunnicliffe (verenat @ uvic.ca).

Recent Working Group Activities

  1. Letter to the ISA with comments from the EREGS Workshop participants on the Draft Regulations – Link to letter
  2. EREGS Workshop Synopsis – Link to synopsis
  3. DOSI response to ISA draft exploitation regulations (ISBA/Cons/2016/1) – Link to review
  4. DOSI response to ISA review (Article 154 UNCLOS) – Link to review
  5. DOSI publication (October 2016): Levin et al. Defining “Serious Harm’ to the Marine Environment in the Context of Deep-Seabed Mining. Marine Policy  (2016), pp. 245-259. Link to paper.
  6. Workshop on Enhancing Stakeholder Participation and Transparency in the ISA Process in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (July 2016). Link to report.
  7. DOSI awarded Observer Status at the International Seabed Authority (July 2016). Link to blog.
  8. DOSI members contribute to Griffith Law School and the International Seabed Authority Workshop on Environmental Assessment and Management for Exploitation of Minerals in the Area, Australia (May 2016). Link to report.

A link to previous Minerals Working Group activities and the activities of individual WG Members will be added to the website shortly.

EREGS Workshop participants (in person and online): Aline Jaeckel, Alison Swaddling, Amber Cobley, Andrey Gebruk, Anna Metaxas, Cindy Van Dover, Craig Smith, David Billett, Elva Escobar, Eva Ramirez-Llodra, Jeff Ardron, Jen Le, Kristina Gjerde, Lisa Levin, Maria Baker, Matthew Gianni, Megan Jungwiwattanaporn, Prideel Majiedt, Rachel Boschen, Verena Tunnicliffe.

Want to get involved?

We are keen to hear from individuals who would like to actively contribute to the Minerals Working Group. If you have expertise to offer and would like to participate in this working group, please send a one paragraph summary of your background and anticipated contribution to the WG Lead: Verena Tunnicliffe (verenat @ uvic.ca).

As a working group member, if you have updates for the Minerals WG page, please contact Rachel Boschen (reboschen @ uvic.ca).