For decades, large corporations have poisoned rivers, devastated forests, and displaced communities. Now, they’re rushing to mine minerals from the last untouched frontier on the planet – the deep sea.
The deep sea may be vast and unexplored, but it is incredibly important. It encompasses 95% of the ocean’s volume and is the largest and least explored of Earth’s ecosystems. Some scientists believe that the deep sea and its water column may be the largest carbon sink on Earth, and new species are still being found there.
A UN body called the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is responsible for governing and protecting the deep seabed on behalf of humankind as a whole. In practice, the ISA Secretariat routinely prioritizes the interests of pro-mining governments and companies over the protection of our fragile ecosystems. Since 2001, the ISA has granted 31 exploration licenses for contractors to explore for minerals beyond national jurisdiction in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.
Deep-sea mining would dwarf all other mining operations in human history, and it would take place in a part of the planet that we are only just now beginning to understand. If this dangerous experiment goes wrong, it risks triggering a domino effect of unintended consequences that could destabilize the ocean, trigger food insecurity, and affect all life on Earth.
As citizens concerned about the future of our planet, we urge you to support a moratorium on deep-sea mining and protect the ecosystems that we all rely upon.
Add your name to the letter to #DefendtheDeep.
Click here to view the official letter.