26 July 2016
The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition is calling for the United Nation's International Seabed Authority (ISA) to implement urgent reforms to protect the deep seabed and deep ocean.
The ISA concluded its two-week annual meeting in Kingston, Jamaica on July 22. The ISA elected Michael Lodge, the current deputy, as Secretary-General for four years, to replace Nii Odunton who has served two terms. The ISA is conducting an extensive review of its function and operating procedures as required by article 154 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. At present the pivotal Legal and Technical Commission makes its decisions behind closed doors.
Duncan Currie political and legal advisor for the DSCC, citing Nelson Mandela, said "The environmental community looks forward to the Authority under the leadership of Michael Lodge to use its time wisely and to do the right thing, for the environment, for future generations and for the common heritage of humankind."
Matthew Gianni co-founder of the DSCC said "The ISA should ensure the transparency and accountability of all bodies, and the protection of the marine environment. Transparency should be the general rule and confidentiality the exception"
During the meeting, DSCC welcomed a new report on the implications of the renewable energy revolution for seabed mining, written by renewable energy expert Sven Teske from Sydney's Institute for Sustainable Futures. The report finds that future metal demand for renewables can be met without the risks of deep-sea mining, especially if government and industry focus on the opportunities of recycling and circular economy innovation.
Later this week DSCC will publish a new global assessment of actions taken by States and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) in light of political commitments to protect the ocean adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA. The assessment feeds into an UNGA meeting to review the implementation of deep-sea fisheries Resolutions since 2006. There are ongoing concerns that the landmark Resolutions - passed ten years ago and hailed as a turning point in marine conservation - are being defied by Governments who are failing to control the destructive impacts of human activities in vulnerable deep sea environments.
For more information, contact:
Matthew Gianni (firstname.lastname@example.org), + 31 646 16 88 99
Sian Owen (email@example.com)