Pacific: Adverse impacts of deep-sea mining, including on rights of indigenous people, are possibly as harmful as land mining, says Harvard paper

Author: Ben Doherty, The Guardian, Published on: 22 April 2018

"Deep-sea mining possibly as damaging as land mining, lawyers say," 18 April 2018

...[D]eep-sea mining holds the same potential pitfalls as previous resource scrambles, with environmental and social impacts ignored and the rights of Indigenous people marginalised, a paper in the Harvard Environmental Law Review has warned.

...[E]nvironmental and legal groups have urged caution, arguing there are potentially massive – and unknown – ramifications for the environment and for nearby communities, and that the global regulatory framework is not yet drafted, and currently deficient.

...The Harvard Environmental Law Review article says the exploratory phase of deep-sea mining has already adversely affected Indigenous people in the Pacific. In Tonga, large mining prospecting vessels have disturbed traditional fishing grounds, and in PNG villagers bordering the exploration site in the Bismarck sea have reported high incidence of dead fish washed ashore.

The paper argues for governments globally to reform the international seabed regime to reflect modern developments in law and science, and to protect potentially vulnerable communities...

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