Debate on the future of deep-sea mining

On 15-16 April 2015 Phil Weaver attended a workshop on “Deep-Sea Mining: an Uncertain Future?”organised by the Institute for Advanced Studies and GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.  The meeting involved experts from academia, civil society, and industry who gathered in Berlin to discuss issues central to the success or failure of deep-sea mining (DSM).

The workshop examined the sustainability of deep-sea mining from the perspectives of economics, environment and society, focusing on: 1) the socio-economic lessons learnt from land and offshore petroleum, contrasting these to the realities faced by small island developing states; 2) environmental obligations, especially in the light of the recent decisions by New Zealand declining two offshore mining applications, and 3) the social contract of the common heritage of mankind (captured in the Law of the Sea Treaty and the Part XI agreement) that could still, more than fifty years after its inception, affect the regulatory and business environment for DSM.

An account of the meeting can be found on the IASS Potsdam website.