There has been renewed interest in deep-seabed mining (DSM) over the last decade because of the growing demand for metals, the increasingly inaccessible and degraded land-based deposits and advances in technology.
Exploration for the three main types of mineral deposits in international waters is regulated by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and through national legislation when a proposed mining project is located within the exclusive economic zone or legal continental shelf of a country. DSM has yet to take place in international waters, however exploration is taking place in national waters with deep-sea mining set to begin off the coast of Papua New Guinea in 2018 with the Solwara 1 project.
Much of the focus of DSM is in the South Pacific region and the Deep Sea Minerals Project, a collaboration between the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU) is helping Pacific Island countries to improve the governance and management of their deep-sea minerals resources. Therefore, the topic of Science Day “Environmental management of deep seabed mining” was very relevant for the region and we heard from speakers with global, regional and national perspectives including:
The presentations can be downloaded in one zip-file here: Fiji ppts DSM in pdf.zip
2015 Science Day under the Scientific Groups of the London Convention and London Protocol
The Science Day symposium is a regular event and an important agenda item for the joint meetings of Scientific Groups under London Convention and London Protocol. It provides a forum for scientists all over the world to share their points of views on the designated topic related to the remit of London Convention and London Protocol, including its general aim of marine environment protection. Contracting States and interested parties may use it as a resourceful tool to make informed decisions.
The topic of the 2015 Science Day was Marine Geoengineering. According to the 2013 amendment to the London Protocol, Marine geoengineering is defined as of a deliberate intervention in the marine environment to manipulate natural processes, including to counteract anthropogenic climate change and/or its impacts, and that has the potential to result in deleterious effects, especially where those effects may be widespread, long-lasting or severe.
The 2015 Science Day session on "Marine geoengineering" was held on Thursday, 23 April 2015, in IMO headquarters and presided by the First Vice-Chairman of the Scientific Groups, Ms. Linda Porebski (Canada). The symposium was offered the following presentations:
- "Brief summary of marine geoengineering techniques", by Dr. Chris Vivian, Cefas, United Kingdom
- "Ocean Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS): The concept and its implications as a geoengineering option", by Dr. Richard Lampitt, National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom
- "Ocean iron fertilization: overview and perspectives", by Dr. Christine Klaas, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
- "Ocean alkalinity modification", by Dr. Phil Renforth, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
- "Enhanced mineral weathering as a marine geoengineering approach", by Mr. Francesc Montserrat, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, the Netherlands
- "Marine geoengineering on the Canadian horizon: a survey of the future", by Ms. Suzanne Agius, Environment Canada
- "Strategies for increasing ocean reflectance-marine albedo techniques", by Professor Julian Evans, University College London, United Kingdom
- "The physics, chemistry and biology of proposed marine geoengineering techniques", by Mr. Tim Kruger, Oxford University, United Kingdom
- "The price of carbon and the cost of macro and micronutrient fertilization of the ocean", by Professor Ian S. F. Jones, University of Sydney, Australia
- "Ocean fertilisation by buoyant flakes", by Mr. Bru Pearce, Envisionation, United Kingdom
The presentations were followed by two thorough panel discussions:
- Assessment, monitoring impacts and benefits – what are the biggest lessons learned thus far?; and
- What will be most important to success in the next decade or two on marine geoengineering?
The presentations can be downloaded in one zip-file here:ScienceDay2015ppts.zip
The Proceeding of the 2015 Science Day Symposium can be downloadedhere:
26 to 30 May 2014: 37th meeting of the London Convention Scientific Group and 8th meeting of the London Protocol Scientific Group
The Scientific Groups of the London Convention and Protocol The Scientific Groups of the London Convention and Protocol convened in New Orleans, United States, from 26 to 30 May 2014. All meeting documents will be available from
Additional background documents will be available here:
PIANC report on Sustainable Maritime Navitigaion (reference in LC/SG 37/INF.8)
19 May 2014: Congo becomes 45th Party to the London Protocol
On 19 May 2014, , Congo acceced to the London Protocol, thus bringing the total number of Parties to 45. The Protocol was adopted in 1996, and entered into force on 24 March 2006.
11 to 13 December 2013: National Seminar on the London Convention and London Protocol, Jakarta, Indonesia
A National Seminar on the London Protocol was held in Alila Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia from 11 to 13 December, 2013. The meeting was attended by key government representatives from the Directorate General of Sea Transport and the Directorate General of Ports and Harbors, the Ministry of Environment, as well as members of industry associations, and other private sector groups.
The seminar was aimed at providing training to the participants so that they can help prepare the Republic of Indonesia for possible ratification of the London Protocol. A workshop recommendation was adopted at the end of the seminar urging the Government of Indonesia to create a national coordinating committee composed of representatives from the different government agencies, private sector organizations, non-government organizations, related research institutions, universities and other key stakeholders so that the London Protocol and its impact on the present regulatory framework for the control of marine pollution from dumping at sea can be studied and appropriate recommendations can be formulated for the possible ratification of the Protocol by Indonesia.
The meeting was hosted by the Director General of Sea Transport under the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation.
17 December 2013: Uruguay becomes 44th Party to the London Protocol
On 17 December 2013, Uruguay acceced to the London Protocol, thus bringing the total number of Parties to 44. The Protocol was adopted in 1996, and entered into force on 24 March 2006.
18 October 2013: Marine geoengineering including ocean fertilization to be regulated: Amendments to the London Protocol adopted
On 18 October 2013, the Contracting Parties to the London Protocol adopted resolution LP.4(8), thereby amending the Protocol to include marine geoengineering engineering activities.
The amendments add a new article 6bis which states that “Contracting Parties shall not allow the placement of matter into the sea from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea for marine geoengineering activities listed in Annex 4, unless the listing provides that the activity or the sub-category of an activity may be authorized under a permit”.
More information, including the full press release, can be