Italy – Key statements

Date: 10 November 2022

October/November 2022


  • Supported The Netherlands’ proposal for the names of the contractors that did not fulfill their contractual obligations to be shared as a necessary step towards greater transparency. 
  • Italy believes the revised NORI EIS and EMMP should have been released publicly and see merit in releasing the revised EIS for full stakeholder consultation. 
  • Italy requested additional information on the Secretariat’s inspection of NORI’s exploration test, as well as the inspection process.  


  • Italy stated that the quality of regulations should not be weakened due to imposed deadlines.


  • Called for engagement of indigenous communities, local communities, industry, representatives of coastal states, other marine users, regional bodies, future bodies of BBNJ, CBD, EBSAs

July/August 2022


  • Stated that “we are strongly committed to a sustainable science based use of marine natural resources, for the preservation of the ecosystems integrity and to the creation of an institutional regulatory framework for the exploitation of the mineral resources of the area using scientific knowledge, the precautionary principle and the ecosystem based approach.”
  • “Italy shapes its own mining culture based on sustainability throughout the lifespan of the mind from research to environmental restoration. We believe this should also apply to seabed mining activities. In this context deep sea mining should not commence as we stated also previously, until we prove prior to the authorization exploitation contracts, a strong regulatory framework, ensure that the environmental effects associated with activities in the area do not create a detriment to deep-sea ecosystems.”


  • On operationalizing an EPC, the delegation stated that “we cannot at this stage forecast revenue from deep-sea mining so this is premature.”


  • Stated that the ISA is at a critical juncture, so we have a responsibility to make necessary decisions.


  • Stated that the Council is not informed on the identity of contractors that are not fully compliant with their obligations and “Italy believes that Council should be duly informed about entities not performing at the same satisfactory level as others. This is relevant when there is a delay in collecting sufficient environmental baseline data and temporal variability of relevant environmental practices, which is crucial for the definition of threshold, which feeds into environmental regulations. This should be carefully taken into account during the exploration phase when exploration activity should be thoroughly assessed.
  • They also warned that some contractors are relying on the work undertaken by other contracted areas. This is not acceptable. One of the missions of exploration licenses under the Common Heritage of Humankind is to generate knowledge for the whole international community.
  • “Regarding the application for approval of a plan award for exploration by Circular Metals Tuvalu Ltd, Italy observes with concern the unfolding of the events after Tuvalu withdrew its sponsorship. The request by CMT to postpone the analysis of its plan of work until CMT changes its nationality. Sponsorship is a wake-up call for all of us to reflect and possibly agree on a definition of effective control, including in the exploitation context.


  • Italy called for test mining to be subjected to “robust environmental impact assessment procedures, similar to those envisaged in the exploitation regulations.”
  • The delegation requested to keep marine litter and underwater noise in regulations as these are emerging threats to the underwater environment.


  • The Italian delegation commented that “We are fully aware of the potential impacts on marine ecosystems and the functioning of…the ocean as a climate regulator. In committing to negotiations we support the highest standard of protection.” 


  • Called for full transparency in negotiations and the reinstatement of UN Web TV so that remote delegates, observers and media could follow meeting proceedings.
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