Joint statement of 38 environmental NGOs on the topic of deep sea drilling
The International Seabed Authority (ISA) recently drafted the Strategic Plan that will define the regulations for the deep-sea exploration for the 2019-2023 period.
The ISA asked NGOs and other groups involved in deep-sea studies for input on the draft document and a group of 38 environmental NGOs, of which Archipelagos Marine Institute is part, sent a joint statement, since the draft lacks of consideration for the actual protection of such sensitive deep water habitats.
With this statement, these 38 environmental NGOs call on the International Seabed Authority to take actions for the conservation of the deep sea and the rights of the coastal communities and society in general.
In conclusion, deep sea drilling is out of tune with Sustainable Development. Taking into account the potentially irreversible losses of marine life that are likely to result from deep-sea mining due to the very slow recovery rates of the affected ecosystems, especially compared to the short-term socio-economic benefits that might result from this activity.
The joint statement of the 38 environmental NGOs call on the International Seabed Authority:
- To amend its Strategic Plan so that the protection for the marine environment is a fundamental objective.
- To proceed with Fundamental Reforms based on the civil societies’ requests, including the Establishment of an Environment Committee and public access to data and information opened up of the Legal and Technical Committee.
- To establish a process for open consultation in a participatory and science-based manner on the fundamental questions about the need for deep seabed mining and its long term consequences for the planet and humankind, ensuring that more sustainable alternatives are fully assessed and fed into the debate.
- To end the granting of contracts for deep-sea mining exploration and to not issue further contracts for exploitation.
The joint statement highlights the risk of destroying rare ecosystems with a vital role for our planet and has as a common goal the protection of natural heritage for future generations through the preservation of the natural environment and the implementation of the internationally-established “Precautionary Principle”.