21 Mar 2016

Report finds Pacific deep sea mining framework lacking

1:51 pm on 21 March 2016

An independent assessment of a proposed framework for sea bed mining has found it lacks indigenous and environmental safeguards.

The Pacific Community's legislative and regulatory framework for deep sea minerals exploration and exploitation is supposed to be the standard for Pacific countries to aspire to when drafting their own laws.

But Blue Ocean Law's Julian Augon said the document only pays lip service to the protection of indigenous peoples and the environment.

Sampling copper under the sea

Sampling copper under the sea Photo: Nautilus Minerals

He said from an international law perspective it leaves a lot to be desired.

"So what is really necessary now is that because this document does purport to be a model framework that it actually lives up to its task and it becomes a model framework and actually better incorporates free prior and informed consent as a international legal norm."

Julian Augon said Blue Ocean Law, in collaboration with the Pacific Network on Globalisation, wants to meet with the Pacific Community to discuss the findings.