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Public participation in the context of deep sea mining

Klaas Willaert (UGent)
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Abstract
Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the ocean floor and its resources are not subject to sovereignty claims and are governed by a complex regime, which determines by whom and under which conditions these natural resources can be extracted. The rules and principles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Implementation Agreement are further developed in regulations and procedures issued by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), governing prospecting, exploration and exploitation of deep seabed resources. The Authority has issued rules for the first phases of mining activities (prospecting and exploration), but has yet to adopt exploitation regulations. A draft version, which provides a good indication of the current state of play and the way forward in relation to deep seabed minerals exploitation, is developed and these exploitation regulations are still officially scheduled to be finalized in July 2020. With regard to transparency and public participation, major improvements can be identified in the Draft Exploitation Regulations. However, considering the influence of NGOs and their crucial role as watchdogs, the power of third-party stakeholders can still be deemed fairly limited. This article analyzes the existing principles and available options regarding transparency, public participation and access to justice in all phases of deep sea mining activities, identifies the main weaknesses and suggests possible corrections, all the while assessing whether such provisions should be considered a luxury or rather the implementation of an enforceable legal obligation.
Keywords
law of the sea, deep seabed, seabed mining, transparency, public participation, access to justice

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Willaert, Klaas. “Public Participation in the Context of Deep Sea Mining.” 48th Underwater Mining Conference, Abstracts, 2019.
APA
Willaert, K. (2019). Public participation in the context of deep sea mining. In 48th Underwater Mining Conference, Abstracts. Sanya (Hainan Province, China).
Chicago author-date
Willaert, Klaas. 2019. “Public Participation in the Context of Deep Sea Mining.” In 48th Underwater Mining Conference, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Willaert, Klaas. 2019. “Public Participation in the Context of Deep Sea Mining.” In 48th Underwater Mining Conference, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Willaert K. Public participation in the context of deep sea mining. In: 48th Underwater Mining Conference, Abstracts. 2019.
IEEE
[1]
K. Willaert, “Public participation in the context of deep sea mining,” in 48th Underwater Mining Conference, Abstracts, Sanya (Hainan Province, China), 2019.
@inproceedings{8646332,
  abstract     = {Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the ocean floor and its resources are not subject to sovereignty claims and are governed by a complex regime, which determines by whom and under which conditions these natural resources can be extracted. The rules and principles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Implementation Agreement are further developed in regulations and procedures issued by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), governing prospecting, exploration and exploitation of deep seabed resources. The Authority has issued rules for the first phases of mining activities (prospecting and exploration), but has yet to adopt exploitation regulations. A draft version, which provides a good indication of the current state of play and the way forward in relation to deep seabed minerals exploitation, is developed and these exploitation regulations are still officially scheduled to be finalized in July 2020. With regard to transparency and public participation, major improvements can be identified in the Draft Exploitation Regulations. However, considering the influence of NGOs and their crucial role as watchdogs, the power of third-party stakeholders can still be deemed fairly limited. This article analyzes the existing principles and available options regarding transparency, public participation and access to justice in all phases of deep sea mining activities, identifies the main weaknesses and suggests possible corrections, all the while assessing whether such provisions should be considered a luxury or rather the implementation of an enforceable legal obligation.},
  author       = {Willaert, Klaas},
  booktitle    = {48th Underwater Mining Conference, Abstracts},
  keywords     = {law of the sea,deep seabed,seabed mining,transparency,public participation,access to justice},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Sanya (Hainan Province, China)},
  pages        = {1},
  title        = {Public participation in the context of deep sea mining},
  year         = {2019},
}