Strategic environmental management plan for mining in the mid-Atlantic

Date: June 3, 2015

Source: European Commission Maritime Forum

There is a strong imperative to maintain the functions and services of the marine ecosystems of the mid-Atlantic Ridge and Atlantic Basin during exploration and exploitation of deep-sea minerals. Here we propose to convene a workshop in Horta, Azores, 1-3 June 2015 in order to identify elements for a strategic Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for deep seabed mineral exploration and exploitation along the Atlantic in the international seabed Area (for now on called the Area). The workshop will bring together the main stakeholders, including representatives of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and region-specific exploration contractors and prospectors together with scientists from different disciplines.

The workshop

  • gatered and reviewed the adequacy of available baseline information on the marine environment including the location of sensitive deep-sea habitats/ ecosystems; as also as charismatic fauna such as long range migrating species
  • dentified the baseline information and discuss how to fill them;

Considered the relevant laws, policies and regulations at international, regional and national levels;

  • identified the nature, distribution and intensity of pressures and impacts associated with mining as they interact with other anthropogenic activities and stresses;
  • agreed upon a ‘road map’ for the development of an EMP for the Atlantic in the Area, and the strategic aims and goals of such a plan.

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