Respite for the oceans? Rich in minerals, the seabed is the target of mining companies. But for lack of a legal framework, these firms cannot exploit anything for the moment.
Allied with states, many are pushing for the International Seabed Authority to give a green light to underwater extractivism. Important negotiations were thus taking place until Friday, November 11 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Against all expectations, “opposition to mining has grown stronger,” François Chartier, of Greenpeace, told Reporterre. A growing number of countries – including Germany, New Zealand and France – have come out in favor of a moratorium or even a ban on plundering the ocean floor.
“There is not yet a majority to vote for a moratorium, observed Mr. Chartier, but the prospect of adopting a Mining Code – and therefore a framework allowing exploitation to be authorized – within a year distant. Given the lack of consensus, no major decision was taken in Kingston, with the states meeting next March to continue their negotiations.