Deep seabed mining could inflict considerable direct and indirect harm

Date: June 3, 2020

Source: Geographical
Author: Sabine Christiansen and Sebastian Unger

You may have heard about minerals on the bottom of the ocean. The UK Government sponsors several exploration contracts for UK Seabed Resources (a subsidiary of the American aerospace and security company Lockheed-Martin) in the Pacific Ocean to look for them. These minerals come from the so-called ‘Area’, the deep seafloor beyond the limits of national jurisdiction and far out in the global ocean.

This ‘Area’ and its mineral resources represent the ‘common heritage of mankind’. The Law of the Sea Convention, UNCLOS (1982) determines that rather than a free-for-all, this last piece of ocean floor outside the jurisdiction of any coastal state belongs to mankind as a whole and shall be administered in such a way that benefits all, considering in particular the needs of developing countries.

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