Ocean Equity Research

Strategic environmental planning for deep seabed mining in the Area

Publication Details

A Jaeckel, Strategic environmental planning for deep seabed mining in the Area, 114 Marine Policy 103423 (2020) (open access)


Discussions about an environmental management strategy for deep seabed mining in the Area have been underway for a number of years. Both states and scientists have called for such an environmental management strategy. In 2018, the International Seabed Authority has adopted its first 5-year strategic plan, covering all aspects of its mandate. This article examines whether the new strategic plan integrates elements of an environmental management strategy and what might be missing. It demonstrates that while some overlaps exist, there are several key gaps left by the current strategic plan which could be filled by an environmental management strategy. These include the development of environmental goals and objectives, a systematic approach to environmental regulation and management, setting priorities, filling gaps in substantive obligations, and allocating environmental management tasks to specific actors.

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