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For decades, large corporations have poisoned rivers, devastated forests and displaced communities, and now they’re rushing to mine minerals from the last untouched frontier on the planet – the deep sea.
The deep-sea may be vast and unexplored, but it is incredibly important. It encompasses 95% of the ocean’s volume and is the largest and least explored of Earth’s biomes. Some scientists believe that the deep sea and its water column may be the largest carbon sink on Earth. Plus, new species are still being found there, and sometimes, entirely new ecosystems are discovered.
A UN body called the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is responsible for governing and protecting the deep seabed on behalf of humankind as a whole. In practice, the ISA Secretariat routinely prioritizes the interests of pro-mining governments and companies over the protection of our fragile ecosystems. Since 2001, the ISA has granted 30 exploration licenses for contractors to explore mineral wealth beyond national jurisdiction in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. These licenses could result in irreversible ecosystem loss.
As citizens concerned about the future of our planet, we ask you to support a moratorium on seabed mining so we can learn more about its potential impact on deep-sea ecosystems.
Visit this page for steps you can take right now to stop deep-seabed mining.
His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, and Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean,
The independent science is clear and undeniable — deep-seabed mining will disrupt and negatively impact the deep sea’s unique biodiversity and invaluable role in ensuring the health of our ocean, climate, and planet. For this reason and more, we are unwavering in our belief that deep-seabed mining is a short-sighted, unjustified, and unacceptable threat to our ocean and the present and future generations that depend on it. With so much at stake, we are calling on you to take action in support of a moratorium on deep-seabed mining, for at least 10 years, in line with the UN Decade of Ocean Science.
We believe that a moratorium is necessary:
The science confirms that deep-seabed mining will lead to the long-term and irreversible loss of biodiversity. It also is clear that deep-seabed mining likely will have climate change implications – such as reducing the ability of the deep sea to serve as a critical carbon sink. In addition, deep-seabed mining stands in conflict with many widely accepted norms and current global commitments, such as the precautionary principle, science-based and transparent decision-making, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) negotiations, the most recent IPCC report, and the Blue COP — not to mention the vision of the UN Charter and UN’s mission. This logically raises the question — How can we, as a global community, consider moving forward with deep-seabed mining in the face of these serious and irreversible risks, given how much remains unknown and undiscovered, and how many stand to be affected?
As the generation inheriting this planet, we adamantly oppose the unjustified risk of deep-seabed mining and call on you to stand with us in support of a moratorium on deep-seabed mining for at least 10 years, in line with the UN Decade of Ocean Science. We ask you to stand for science, stand for the ocean, and stand for the rights of current and future generations.
We sincerely thank you for your support and for your leadership,
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