Background on DSM
Economics, technology, and geopolitics are pushing exploration and development of mineral resources into new frontiers. Frontier mining, including deep seabed mining (DSM), presents opportunities and risks for key stakeholders including industry, NGOs, governments, and communities. DSM is a rapidly emerging frontier activity both in marine areas under national jurisdiction and in the area beyond national jurisdiction (or the Area). DSM in the Area is regulated through the International Seabed Authority (ISA), but the regulatory regime is incomplete. The ISA is undertaking a process of developing its regulatory framework, or exploitation code, and a first draft of this code was issued in July 2016. The most recent revised draft of the code was released in July 2018.
Since 2014, RESOLVE, with various partners, has worked to bring together stakeholders involved in a variety of DSM-related endeavors to provide input on best practices for transparency in DSM, analyze the economic benefits to be derived from DSM within and beyond national jurisdiction, and investigate potential mechanisms for sharing such benefits. Thus far, projects undertaken include:
- Conference on Transparency and Best Practices for Deep Seabed Mining - October 2015
- Deep Seabed Mining Payment Regime Workshop #1 - May 2016
- Workshop on Enhancing Stakeholder Participation and Transparency in the ISA Process - July 2016
- Deep Seabed Mining Payment Regime Workshop #2 – December 2016
- Deep Seabed Mining Payment Regime Workshop #3 – April 2017
- From Paper to Practice: Implementing the Mining Code Workshop – August 2017
- Common Heritage of Mankind: Definition and Implementation Workshop – July 2018
For more information on RESOLVE’s DSM-related efforts, please contact Senior Mediator Paul De Morgan.