The international seabed’s benefits and the proposed moratorium on deep seabed mining
Publication related to the project 'Protecting deep seabed hydrothermal vent fields'
On 28 February 2023, a blogpost by Samantha Robb was published on the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea’s Blog, titled ‘Bolstering the Area’s Benefits to Humankind: A Legal Analysis of UNCLOS’ Common Heritage of Mankind Principle and ‘for the benefit of mankind’ Provisions in the Context of the Call for a Deep Seabed Mining Moratorium.’
In the blogpost, the author assesses UNCLOS’ provisions which establish the international seabed as the common heritage of humankind and provide for utilising the international seabed and its resources for the benefit of humankind. The article assesses these provisions in historical and contemporary contexts. In particular, the author considers the developments in scientific knowledge on the international seabed since the conclusion of the negotiations of UNCLOS in 1982 and what this means for the benefits that humankind can derive from the international seabed. Drawing on these considerations, the article explores how this impacts the call for a moratorium on deep seabed mining.
The research for this paper was conducted under a joint project ‘Protecting deep seabed hydrothermal vent fields through area-based management tools’ of Utrecht University (the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) and the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL)) and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).