The German move is likely to change the dynamics of negotiations at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) on rules for deep-sea mining, said Deep Sea Conservation Coalition co-founder Matthew Gianni, who is observing the talks in Jamaica.
“It shows that states are saying, ‘We need to take control of this process,'” he said, adding that some states represented in the ISA, the UN body responsible for developing rules governing seabed mining, have become talk more actively about environmental concerns.
On Monday, the ISA began its third negotiating session of the year on the draft rules, with talks in Kingston scheduled to continue until November 11.
“The German government wishes to emphasize its view that current knowledge and available science are insufficient to approve deep-sea mining until further notice,” the German delegation to the ISA said on Monday, describing its call for an industry pause as “precautionary”. .”
Germany will not sponsor any deep-sea mining plans “until deep-sea ecosystems and the impacts of deep-sea mining have been sufficiently studied,” the delegation added in a statement released by Germany’s environment ministry on Tuesday.
Germany’s Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) has been contracted since July 2006 to explore manganese-rich rocks covering 77,230 square kilometers of seabed in the Clarion-Clipperton area of the North Pacific.
The contract, which was initially designed for 15 years, was extended for another five years last year.