Monaco reaffirmed its strong position against deep sea mining at a meeting of the International Seabed Authority, expressing concern about the “absence of robust regulations and necessary environmental safeguards”.
The 28th session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which was held from 10th to 28th July in Kingston, Jamaica, saw representatives from nations worldwide discuss draft regulations on the use of deep seabed mineral resources.
Monaco, which is an ipso facto member of the ISA due to its adherence to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, argued that “no work plan could be approved without a clear regulatory framework based on reliable scientific data”, according to a government spokesperson.
The Principality’s delegation present at the meeting knuckled down further on this stance, adding that “it [Monaco] defended this position independently of any specific terminology or potentially ambiguous linguistic nuances”.
The Principality was supported in its opinion by several other delegations, according to government sources, who joined Monaco in its “concern over the potential approval of a work plan for the use of these resources in the absence of robust regulations and necessary environmental safeguards”.
A government statement released after the meeting called on the ISA to “continue its work on this very sensitive issue at future sessions”.
Monaco was, incidentally, among the first members of the ISA to join the “Call for the Deep” coalition of states including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Micronesia, Finland, France, Germany, Panama, Portugal, New Zealand, Switzerland and Vanuatu who advocate for the protection of the deep seabed.
As per the government communiqué, “The coalition indicates that a precautionary approach should be taken to devising a way forward in deep seabed mining.”
Meanwhile, the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco has released a fact sheet on the risks posed by deep sea mining. The full report can be found here.
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Photo source: Fernando Jorge, Unsplash