Nauru: Deep Sea Mining

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 19th July 2021.

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Photo of Lord Goodlad Lord Goodlad Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the International Seabed Authority about the environmental implications of proposals for deep sea mining off Nauru.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Nauru has notified the International Seabed Authority of its intention to apply for approval of a plan of work for deep sea mining exploitation under the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The UK recognises the growing pressure to extract deep sea resources, and is deeply concerned about the potential impacts of mining activities on the fragile marine environment. We therefore continue to press for the very highest environmental standards to be agreed and activated by the International Seabed Authority. Until there is sufficient scientific evidence about the potential impacts on deep sea ecosystems and strong and enforceable environmental regulations in place, the UK has committed not to sponsor or support the issuing of any exploitation licences for deep sea mining projects.

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