Brazil – Key statements

Date: 9 November 2022

March 2023


  • Brazil stated that the untimely activation of the two year rule during the pandemic’s has brought us to a point where we all know the deadline will be not will not be met. The July deadline will represent one way or another unprecedented situation, so we would prefer to see a much higher degree of legal certainty regarding the next steps follow its exploration. We want to safeguard the Authority and prevent it from a dive into the unknown which could potentially have detrimental effects to the USA, including reputational damage, financial illegal liability and internal division among others, in line with the precautionary approach, and quite frankly, with the world that’s around us in 2023.
  • Brazil also stated that it is important to take a step back from all articles, regulations, interpretations, so we can remind ourselves they reconnect to the fact that this Council is the executive body of the ISA.


  • Brazil stated that “Protection to the seabed must be given priority”
  • The delegation stated:
    • Brazil believes that the current level of knowledge and best available science are insufficient to approve any seabed mining projects in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
    • State parties should therefore refrain from sponsoring any plans of work for exploitation until further research on deep sea ecosystems, and the impacts of mining activities are available, and until exploitation regulations with sound environmental standards are in place, including monitoring in compliance provisions in order to ensure that the marine environment is not seriously harmed.
    • In this regard resources significant merit in the proposal of a call for precautionary pause in deep-sea mining, without prejudice to the continuity of discussions and negotiations of the mining code in good faith and in accordance with the institutional mandate or the International Seabed Authority.
    • Brazil is committed to work constructively to reach an agreement, a comprehensive robust and environmentally sound legal framework.
    • At this point in time, priority must be given to the protection of the international seabed until conclusive and comprehensive studies referring to the potential environmental impacts of mining activities in the area available, including:
      • Loss and damage on marine biodiversity
      • Production of extensive plumes of sediments
      • Toxins that affects marine species and ecosystems
      • Damage to carbon retention in the seabed, and its consequences related to climate change
      • Noise pollution due to to the activity of industry machines
      • Introduction of toxic metals into marine food chains
  • A precautionary approach does not undermine the development of a new of new markets and technologies, not the mandate of the authority.


On behalf of GRULAC:

  • GRULAC is convinced that deep-sea mining should not begin before rules, regulations and procedures and robust legal and institutional framework in place.
  • Assessment of plan of work must be based on best scientific info available and be well informed.

On behalf of Brazil:

  • Part 11 agreement does not impose an obligation to approve an application for a plan of work.


  • Brazil questions who is in charge of restoration measures or other measures if a contractor is not able to fulfil its duties and has paid penalties?


  • Reminded of a general obligation to protect the marine environment and adopt the required measures to ensure effective protection of the marine environment.


  • Brazil called for a robust and environmentally sound Mining Code to be put in place before any activity is approved in the Area -” Activities should not be approved before all the rules as well as S&G are elaborated and adopted. We need to uphold UNCLOS provisions, i.e. Article 145 and be guided by precautionary principle.”
  • Brazil also highlighted that the secretariat and subsidiary bodies, e.g. LTC and financial committee do their work in a transparent matter and under the guidance of Council.

October/November 2022


  • Stated that it is not realistic that regulations will be agreed by July 2023.
  • Commented that naming and shaming contractors that are repeatedly violating obligations could be counterproductive in reaching the opposite of the desirable effect, which is full compliance with the contract and with the authorities regulation


  • No exploitation should begin before the elaboration and adoption of robust, science-based mining code. 


  • Echoed Costa Rica’s concerns about the role of contractors in the creation of environmental thresholds and the appointment of experts agreeing that the appointment of experts should occur in full transparency, independent of contractors. 


  • Brazil stated we still are not in a position to start mining, because we still have not decided yet about certain aspects that are involved and we are going to discuss the implications of this to the room tomorrow.


  • Brazil called for “close attention to environmental externalities so that exploitation of minerals in the area starts only when robust and science-based legal frameworks are developed, completed and adopted, without any plan of work for exploitation being approved or any contract being granted.”
  • They also highlighted that “There is an increasing awareness of the dramatic impact of these activities on the marine ecosystems.”
  • Brazil also called for the ISA to be more transparent – including the Legal and Technical Commission, and that issues of confidentiality need to be discussed.

July/August 2022


  • Stated that Chile’s proposal was important and that they “believe it is important to include it in the agenda because the time has come, maybe not to discuss in depth, but to discuss methods and a way to move forward with this so therefore the Brazil delegation would like to support the proposal to include the topic.” They highlighted the need for greater understanding of human activities on the ocean and full transparency.
  • They also called for promotion of deep sea literacy and “fundamental steps towards strengthening the ISA role in the ocean global governance.”
  • The delegation added that “A robust code of conduct, standard & guidelines must be put in place before any activity is approved. Interrelated with ISA mandate. The ISA needs to ensure coherence between our mission and the evolution of international law, for example BBNJ. “


  • The delegation stated that the promotion of marine research in the Area, is one of the ISA’s main priorities and without this knowledge we do not have a clear idea of the consequences of the mining code and exploitation. Without a clear idea of consequences we cannot make the proper decisions.
  • The delegation also called to increase literacy of ISA members, especially developing countries stating that we need to understand more and need more scholars, more stakeholders, more experts, more exchange of knowledge and ideas. They stated that increasing public knowledge and general deep sea literacy is key. The delegation stated that “We have to make an effort to make this more clear for the whole society to be informed about what we are doing, what are the consequences, what are the limits, the difficulties & challenges”


  • Raised concerns raised about contractors that were unable to comply with obligations and that these issues must be followed closely by ISA to allow for more transparency. They stated that it wasn’t too much to expect that names of contractors, by the same way that States are part of a list when in arrears – giving the Council opportunity to know which contractors not up to challenges.


  • The Brazilian delegation commented that a “big discussion is still needed, so the ISA can establish environmental thresholds to balance and can be considered acceptable”. They continued that “As far as separate impacts are concerned like sediment, life noise, etc, several concepts still need to be clarified, like serious harm, rare and unique systems etc.”
  • Delegates also highlighted concerns around effective control 

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