Deep Ocean Mining Essay

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In recent years, deep ocean drilling and deep ocean mining has received a lot of criticism for its effects on the environment. Many of the mistakes made have caused irreparable damage to the wildlife and the economy that was based around it. In April of this year a multi-national company reached an agreement with Papua New Guinea that would allow them to open up the world’s first deep ocean mine. There are many groups who are against this agreement. One of the major ones being Greenpeace who argue that the marine ecosystem would never recover, and that the loss of species potentially unknown to science outweighs the need for raw materials. There are also those who welcome the agreement, citing that it could potentially be a new frontier in mining. This would allow for more raw materials to be extracted than other methods on land. This paper will analyze the legality of the issue, and the international conferences and declarations that have set the foundation for the agreement between Nautilus Minerals and Papua New Guinea. This paper will also analyze some of the major interest groups and governing bodies involved in the agreement to open the worlds first deep-sea mine.
The Stockholm conference of 1972 is widely accepted as the foundation of environmental law according to David Kenneth Leary of the University of Technology, faculty of law in Sydney, Australia. As a result of the fast paced change in deep-ocean drilling technology being adapted from onshore drilling methods, a declaration was drawn up. The Stockholm Declaration according to Leary was the first time sustainable development was brought into the picture, although it was not explicitly stated. The declaration worded sustainable development as, “meeting the needs of t...

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...imes that apply to PNG’s offshore areas, as they would on land. (Leary Pg.145)
If deep-sea mining is as successful as many think it will be, then future regulations will have to be agreed upon by the International Seabed Authority and the international system.
In conclusion there are many aspects that have led up to the agreement to open the worlds first deep-sea mine. Much of the work done to lay the foundation for this new industry was done with the collaboration of many different actors. Even the actors that are opposed to mining in the deep ocean play the critical role of informing the general public and swaying public opinion. The analysis of many different aspects of an international situation allows a broader picture to be seen. What was once a simple mining agreement can now be viewed as a complex system of cogs all working in unison to produce an event.

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