Sustainable Ocean Alliance – In recent years, there has been expanding international interest in commercially mining the incredibly diverse and fragile deep seabed to access minerals and metals, such as cobalt, copper, and nickel – all under the guise of needing to fuel the green energy revolution.
Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) is a global non-profit organisation that advances the impact of startups, social enterprises, and initiatives that are developing solutions to protect and sustain our ocean. SOA’s pipeline of ocean leaders is cultivated through a hub-based model, led by students at the collegiate and young professional levels.
At present, the pressure is mounting for the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to finalise and adopt exploitation regulations that would open the door for extraction to begin internationally. The ISA’s next meeting is scheduled for October 2020. With so much at stake, Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) – an organisation representing the largest global network of young ocean leaders – is urging the global community to take a considered pause before rushing forward with deep-seabed mining, and is calling for a moratorium on deep-seabed mining for at least for 10 years – in line with the UN Decade of Ocean Science.
This moratorium would allow the global ocean community to conduct further scientific research to better understand the potential impacts of mining on biodiversity, the seabed’s role in carbon storage, the potential for mitigation and recovery, and the opportunities to invest in and expand the circular economy. This position resonates deeply with SOA’s global young ocean leaders, as they are concerned that deep-seabed mining may be a final tipping point for an ocean already under extreme threat. Three of these young ocean leaders share their thoughts below.
Daniel Cáceres Bartra (President, SOA Perú)
Peru has a high degree of vulnerability to climate change and no national laws against seabed mining. The youth of the country must now focus our energy on preventing companies from damaging one of our last untouched ecosystems, the deep sea.
In Peru, we are spreading awareness around the threat of deep-seabed mining by creating a coalition of passionate leaders and organisations. We are reaching out to our politicians to join in the fight, to either spread the message about the need for a moratorium or sponsor targeted legislation. In Peru we are doing our part and we urge you to join us in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand against the destruction of our last untouched ecosystem, the deep sea, and seabed. One seabed, one ocean, one planet.