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They want no deep sea mining to take place until a robust regulatory framework is in place to protect the marine environment joining a growing chorus of countries, scientists, civil society organisations and private companies calling for a precautionary pause of deep-sea mining. The international community has a responsibility to protect the marine environment, which is under greater pressure than ever.”
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea established the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to regulate the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources of the international seabed, which falls outside any national jurisdiction.
The Irish Government has agreed to throw its weight behind calls for a “precautionary pause” of deep-sea mining on the international seabed.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, welcomed yesterday’s Cabinet decision.
To date the ISA has only authorised exploration activities but there have been recent efforts by some states and mining companies to accelerate moves towards an exploitation phase.
That’s despite the fact negotiations on a mining code, including environmental regulations, have yet to be concluded, and significant scientific knowledge gaps persist.