- The deep-sea plays a key role in the health of marine ecosystems and species, making it indispensable for the sustenance of the ocean;
- The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is tasked with the protection of the international seabed (Area) for the benefit of humankind;
- The ISA is considering adopting rushed and inadequate regulations for deep seabed mining (DSM) in the Area;
- The draft regulations do not require full public consultation, nor will they effectively protect the marine environment, thereby undermining the mission of the ISA;
- There is enormous scientific concern and technological uncertainty surrounding DSM, with scientific consensus it will cause a net loss in biodiversity and irreparable environmental damage;
- Canada’s domestic legislation, the Fisheries Act, effectively bans DSM to protect fish;
- Per Canada’s international commitments, Canada has a responsibility to protect the Area for future generations;
- Canada has an unfulfilled opportunity at the ISA to be a leader on environmental stewardship and good governance;
- The green energy transition must be fueled by a circular economy, not increased extraction; and
- Precedent exists for international moratoria that effectively ban activities threatening the health and sustainability of the environment.
We, the undersigned, Oceans North, MiningWatch Canada, the Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society, Nature Canada, Northern Confluence, West Coast Environmental Law, and the citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Support a moratorium on deep seabed mining in the Area, in line with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Resolution 122.
2. Immediately halt the granting of exploration contracts and the development of regulations for exploitation by the ISA, per the recommendations of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, of which Canada is a member.
Closing date for signatures: March 20, 2022, at 11:52 a.m. (EDT)