Seabed: Mining

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 26th March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the precautionary principle is applied to deep sea mining techniques that cannot be monitored from the surface.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK is using the precautionary principle in relation to deep sea mining and has agreed not to sponsor or support the issuing of any exploitation licences for deep sea mining projects until there is sufficient scientific evidence about the potential impact on deep sea ecosystems and strong and enforceable environmental standards have been developed by the ISA and are in place.

The UK is calling for the precautionary principle to be included in the development of the Regulations, Standards and Guidelines for deep sea mining at the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

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