Singapore – Key statements
Date: 10 November 2022
- Singapore reaffirmed its commitment to constructive engagement and contributions to development of robust rules, regulations and procedures that “will ensure that any exploitation, if and when permitted, is done with effective protection of the marine environment.”
- Singapore stated that itshares the concerns of those against deep-sea mining. They stated “we note that terms such as precautionary pause and moratorium have been mentioned. These comments come on the heels of two Council decisions that categorically iterate that mining should not be carried out without RRPs”.
- Singapore echoes statements by the Netherlands on the day before on focusing on relevant criteria and establishing safeguards to ensure any activity is done to ensure effective protection of the marine environment.
- Singapore stated that “deep-sea exploitation cannot commence in the absence of the necessary and relevant rules, regulations and procedures, especially those that will ensure the effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects arising from activities in the Area on issues related to the two year rule.”
- Consistent position that deep-sea mining should not proceed in absence of robust safeguards for effective protection of marine environment.
- On two year rule, Council has obligation to consider under 15(c), but Council is not obligated to approve it if it does not meet criteria.
- Provisional approval does not automatically or necessarily lead to contract.
- Commented that the sponsoring state should not be the party conducting the EIA.
- Cannot support such a proposal for a complete ban on deep-sea mining. Each of us should make every effort to develop the best possible exploitation regulations taking into account environmental protection and benefit sharing in the basis of our cooperation and mutual trust.
- Singapore proposed the Contractor should take all measures to ensure activities in the Area do not cause “serious harm” to the marine environment, as opposed to “harmful effects”.
- This was opposed by Italy, Costa Rica, Chile, Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago.
- Costa Rica, Chile, Federated States of Micronesia proposed the use of the term “threat of harmful effects”.
- Stated that they joined the emerging consensus that scientific knowledge and robust rules are needed to ensure damage from DSM. With absence of scientific knowledge, exploitation should not proceed.
- Stated that: “We recognize that without robust scientific knowledge, deep-sea mining poses risks of irreversible damage. In the absence of safeguards, DSM should not proceed. We note the invoking of the 2 year rule. A year before this deadline remains. If and when deep-sea mining happens there must be a robust safeguard. We are committed to developing an environmentally robust legal framework and ensure DSM is consistent with IL including rules procedures and regulations of the ISA.”
- Pushed back on OceanCare’s call for the ISA to demonstrate that they take women’s inclusion seriously and changing references to ‘mankind’ to ‘humankind’, stating if there are terms used in the convention these should be maintained in the regulations and not be changed
- The delegation called for an environmental cost study of the impacts of deep-sea mining to include opportunity costs. They also stated that other forms of non-monetary benefits generate value and should be considered.
- Called for clarity on to what is being envisioned in concrete terms on transparent communication for sponsoring states.