Table of Contents
Deadline: 31 August 2018
Publication: 1 July 2018
As part of Global Sea Mineral Resources’ (GSR) efforts to explore the feasibility of deep sea mining of polymetallic nodules, GSR submitted on 30 March 2018 an environmental impact statement to the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and has recently decided to publish the assessment in the interests of stakeholder transparency.
GSR’s objective is to develop a system for polymetallic nodule collection that uses the best available techniques supporting the extreme physical challenges of operating at depths of up to 5,000 meters and for minimizing the environmental impact.
While GSR will be making their own measurements on the environmental effects of their test, GSR has agreed to coordinate with the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans) for an independent monitoring of their test.
Proceedings of the public consultation:
The public consultation ran from 1 July 2018 to 31 August 2018 and was announced on the news page of the website of the FPS Economy and by e-mail to the 90 participants of the workshop "Deep Sea Mining - Contributing to the elaboration of a Belgian policy ". This announcement was also made on the news page of the GSR website. Finally, on Wednesday 18 July 2018, the Belgian delegation to the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), in its statement on the report of the chair of the Legal and Technical Commission, announced the Belgian public consultation and invited the members of the Council to take part in this.
- EIS GSR component test 2019 (PDF, 21.56 MB)
- Note by ISA secretariat to the LTC (PDF, 234.6 KB)
- Letter of ISA to GSR concerning reviews done (PDF, 71.86 KB)
- GSR review 1 (PDF, 491.25 KB)
- GSR review 2 (PDF, 400.55 KB)
- GSR review 3 (PDF, 30.5 KB)
Results of the public consultation
Seven comments were received during this consultation. Of these two were from citizens, three from non-governmental organizations and two from scientific institutions. All but one of the comments came from Belgium. Two entries were rejected, one because the information in the submission did not relate to the subject of the consultation and a second one because, despite an application to provide more information, the information in the submission was too limited to be useful.
The retained comments
- Comments by National Oceanography Centre (PDF, 849.6 KB) (UK) (English)
- Commentaren van Natuurpunt (PDF, 355.04 KB) (Dutch)
- Comments by Seas at Risk (PDF, 663.32 KB) (English)
- Comments by Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (PDF, 116.6 KB) (English)
- Commentaren van WWF België – samenvatting (PDF, 296.82 KB) (Dutch) & review (Dutch (PDF, 544.74 KB) / English (PDF, 538.86 KB))
The Belgian response
Belgium has carefully considered all the comments received and, in consultation with GSR and the relevant stakeholders, has identified a number of actions. This led to the Belgian response to the public consultation, which was sent on 3 December 2018 to ISA, GSR and all involved stakeholders.