For years they’ve poisoned rivers, devastated forests and displaced communities, and now massive companies are rushing to dig up the seabed for precious metals.
The people who can stop this plunder of our planet’s most fragile places are meeting now!! The International Seabed Authority normally attracts as little attention as an underwater mine miles offshore, but our community can change that.
A few countries have agreed full or partial bans, and leading scientists just appealed for a freeze on deep sea mining contracts. Let’s amplify their message with a million-strong call, take out newspaper ads to hand deliver to each delegate, then publish their names and their responses. Add your voice and send widely:
Mining companies claim they can mine the seabed safely, but authorities in Namibia, Australia and New Zealand recently blocked seabed mining projects. Scientists point out that many deep water species are being discovered all the time, and that the ocean floor can take decades to recover from disturbances. Mining sediment may also spread heavy metals into marine food chains.
The International Seabed Authority has already issued licenses for exploratory mining across 1.2 million square kilometres of ocean floor. The body is almost unknown, and its 24-person Legal and Technical Committee does the detailed scrutiny of proposals and environmental safeguards with minimal transparency. We now have a unique opportunity to put all its members on notice with a demand that they freeze mining until independent science proves it safe and the ISA opens up to concerned scientists and citizens.
Often, we don’t realise the value of our most precious ecosystems until they’re destroyed — but this time we have the chance to take action before this whole new threat churns up the ocean floor. Join the call for a freeze on deep-sea mining, so we can hit a million and deliver to all delegates before their meeting ends:
Together we’ve stood up to protect our earth’s most precious, awe-inspiring ecosystems — from the majestic trees of the Amazon to the stunning species in the Great Barrier Reef. Now, we are standing on the brink of a new gold rush that could devastate an ecosystem that has so far escaped the ravages of mankind.
With hope and determination
References / further reading
Deep sea mining: the new resource frontier? (Al-Arabiya)
Deep sea mining hopes hit by New Zealand decision (Financial Times)
New Interest in Seafloor Mining Revives Calls for Conservation (National Geographic)
Deep sea mining: the new frontier in the struggle for resources? (World Economic Forum)
Shedding some light on the International Seabed Authority (University of Southampton)
Marine mining: Underwater gold rush sparks fears of ocean catastrophe (The Guardian)
Scientists call for temporary halt on new deep sea mining projects (Popular Science)