Collaborative Ocean Stewardship

Economics, technology, and geopolitics are pushing exploration of mineral resources into new frontiers. Deep seabed mining (DSM) in waters up to 19,500 feet below the surface presents opportunities and risks for key stakeholders, including companies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and communities. Since 2014, RESOLVE has worked with partners to bring together stakeholders to provide input on best practices for transparency in DSM, explore how the concept of the "common heritage of [hu]mankind" could be implemented, analyze the economic benefits to be derived from DSM, and investigate potential mechanisms for sharing such benefits.

DSM is a rapidly emerging activity in marine areas under national jurisdiction and in the area beyond national jurisdiction (the Area). DSM in the Area was established through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and is regulated through the International Seabed Authority (ISA). DSM regulations related to reporting, environmental protection, risk management, and fiscal policies are under development through a multilateral process at the ISA.

RESOLVE and our partners have hosted conferences and workshops that have provided opportunities to increase the capacity of stakeholders to build a shared understanding of interests related to key topics (e.g., financial regime, common heritage of mankind, and transparency) that underlie development of the DSM regulatory regime.

These meetings have also enabled participants to exchange ideas about how DSM could be implemented through the ISA and ultimately how a DSM regulatory regime could reflect the interests of all stakeholders.

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