Part I Assessing the UN Institutional Structure for Global Ocean Governance: The UN’s Role in Global Ocean Governance, 3 Advancing the Deep Seabed ‘Mining Code’: Key Environmental Elements of the Regulatory Framework for the Commercial Exploitation of Mineral Resources
Edited By: David Joseph Attard, David M Ong, Dino Kritsiotis
- Sustainable development — Mineral resources — Marine environment, protection
This chapter examines the key environmental elements of the International Seabed Authority's (ISA) ‘Mining Code’, a regulatory framework for the commercial exploitation of mineral resources. The term ‘Mining Code’ refers to the whole comprehensive set of rules, regulations and procedures issued by the ISA to regulate prospecting, exploration and exploitation of minerals. The set of rules includes the collaboration of the respective responsibilities of deep seabed explorers and of the ISA in order to ensure environmentally sustainable development of deep seabed mineral resources. The chapter first provides an overview of the general regulatory framework for deep seabed mining, which is a contract-based system, before discussing the continuous legal evolution of the Mining Code. It also considers the generic issues that need to be addressed in relation to the future exploitation of minerals and explains why exploitation-related environmental regulations must be an integral component of advancing the Mining Code.