SPC | Scoop NZ | 9 July 2018
Pacific Island Countries and Territories have committed to long-term sustainable management of Deep-Sea Minerals (DSM) and ocean governance through the refinement of a draft regional agreement in Fiji.
The Agreement establishes cooperation among Pacific Island countries and territories to support responsible deep-sea mineral management across the region. This is work led by the Pacific Community (SPC) through the development of critical legislative frameworks and support to countries to ensure effective & sustainable evidence based approaches to the use of these resources.
Dr Andrew Jones, Director of SPC’s Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division (GEM) said many PICTs have great potential to access deep-sea minerals but he highlighted the need to ensure this is done sustainably
“DSM exploration is already happening in the region and this agreement will ensure countries are effectively legislated and protected whilst ensuring sustainable practices are used to extract any resources. To date, Nauru and Tonga have sponsored foreign companies to secure exploration tenements in their jurisdiction, whilst Kiribati and Cook Islands have established state-owned-enterprises to explore DSM extraction,” he said.
This draft agreement was refined at the recent Pacific Regional Deep-Sea Minerals Workshop in Nadi (2-4 July) supported by representatives of Pacific nations. Final consultations will now be held expected to be completed by October with the final agreement to be tabled to Pacific Leaders and representatives in 2019.
The workshop was coordinated by SPC in collaboration with financial and technical assistance from the PEW Charitable Trusts and the Commonwealth Secretariat.