Regulatory Frameworks Launched for Pacific Deep Sea Mining

Financial and Environmental Management frameworks have been released with aim to build knowledge of deep sea minerals and their governance, and support informed decision-making by Pacific Island countries.

They are the latest information resources developed for stakeholders interested in this sector through the European Union-supported Deep Sea Minerals Project, implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

The Regional Financial Framework for deep sea minerals exploration and exploitation is aimed at providing Pacific countries with a guide to the issues to be addressed when setting up national financial frameworks.

It was prepared in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund through the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre and provides an overview of key issues in the financial management of revenues and wealth associated with the potential development of deep sea minerals in the region.

The Regional Environmental Management Framework for deep sea minerals exploration and exploitation contains an overview of deep sea mineral deposit environments and potential environmental impacts of deep sea mining projects, as well as management and mitigation strategies, including an environmental impact assessment report template.

The environmental framework serves as a guide for Pacific countries, informing and supporting them to make sound decisions regarding their deep sea mineral resources and to take appropriate measures to reduce environmental risks, should they wish to engage in the mining industry.

Speaking at the launch today in Noumea, New Caledonia, EU ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, said: ”Deep Sea Mining is a developing industry in the Pacific and this very timely project seeks to ensure the establishment of regulatory frameworks that will ensure the equitable use of mining revenues and environmental protection.

”The Pacific is leading the way in this nascent industry. As Pacific countries have vast exclusive economic zones but limited land masses, deep sea minerals could play an important role in spurring sustainable economic growth and development, if managed prudently,” Ambassador Jacobs said.

The frameworks were released during the 46th meeting of SPC’s Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) in the presence of representatives of more than 25 countries.

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