The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) passed a motion on 7 September 2021 calling for a moratorium on deep seabed mining and a halt to the International Seabed Authority’s (ISA) issuing of new contracts for mining and for exploration of mining sites until certain conditions are met. Those conditions include conducting rigorous and transparent scientific research and impact assessments to comprehensively understand the environmental, social, cultural, and economic damage that mining could cause, and ensuring the effective protection of the marine environment. More information is available in the IUCN Motion 069.
Category Archives: Non-State Actors
United Kingdom charity Human Rights at Sea is recruiting New Members for its Board of Trustees. The role is for experienced and professional Trustees, which shall fill the remaining posts on the Board in preparation for international work in 2021 and beyond. The selected applicant is expected to be an “active ambassador” to the cause of defending human rights at sea. This is a pro bono role. More information is available here.
Closing date for applications is 8 July 2020 with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for a marine policy officer vacancy based in Brussels (Belgium). The officer will ensure that there is a coordinated approach across the WWF European network to effectively influence and implement EU marine policies including the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSP) Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), and International Ocean Governance. Further information is available here.
On the 23 September 2019 the meeting of the UN Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business formally launched the Sustainable Ocean Principles. The principles recognize the shared responsibility of businesses to ensure a healthy oceans.
Representatives of governments and the social partners gathered at the International Labour Organization in Geneva on 22-26 January 2018 have adopted a revised code of practice on safety and health in shipbuilding and ship repair. The new code reflects the many changes in the industry, including the use of robotic systems, over the last 43 years since an earlier code was adopted. It focuses on the need for a preventive approach based on occupational safety and health management systems, management of change and safe work plans among others. The draft code may be found here. An overview of the document provided by the NGO IndustriALL Global Union may be found here.
During the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, a multi-stakeholder partnership, Friends of Ocean Action, was announced, 25 January 2018, with the objective “to help shape global action to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14”. For more information, see here.
At the same time, the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, announced a High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy, “which will be made up of heads of state and government from a broad range of coastal states, including developing countries”. For more information, see here.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation filed a notice of intent to sue the USA National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals are said to be facing threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills. The document, entitled “Violations of the Endangered Species Act; Failure to Designate Critical Habitat for Distinct Population Segments of Humpback Whales (Megaptera noveangliae)” may be found here.
The member states of the informal group “Arctic-five” (Canada, USA, Russia, Norway, and Greenland/Denmark), together with representatives of other states (Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union) have reached agreement on a legally binding international agreement that will protect nearly three million square kilometers of the Central Arctic Ocean from unregulated fishing. The initial term of the agreement is 16 years, after which it will automatically be extended every five years unless a country objects or until science-based fisheries quotas and rules are put in place. The NGO Ocean Conservancy has referred to this as an example of the precautionary approach. This accord comes two years after a previously set moratorium. Evidence of this new agreement may be found here: (Canada) (Norway) (EU).
Peru has become the second state (following Indonesia) to sign a memorandum of understanding with Global Fishing Watch Inc to establish a framework for cooperation. Peru will be sharing information upon its commercial fishing fleets through the Global Fishing Watch system.
Announced, 27 September 2017, Peru also signaled a further framework cooperative agreement with Oceana (NGO) and ratification of the 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA). Peru will implement the PSMA as of October.
The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, constituted to deal with the Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean (Ghana/Côte d’Ivoire), delivered its Judgment. Among other points, it unanimously rejected Ghana’s claim that Côte d’Ivoire is estopped from objecting to the “customary equidistance boundary” and it found that Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights of Côte d’Ivoire. The Award may found here. A reaction by Tullow Oil plc, who explores the Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN) oil fields on Ghana’s side of the delimitation line, may be found here.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation has produced a toolkit for its seafarer unions to help them lobby governments to implement international guidelines to prevent the unfair treatment of seafarers following accidents and pollution at sea. The toolkit highlights cases where seafarers have been scapegoated for accidents and pollution which have arisen as a result of circumstances beyond their control. The toolkit is available here.
On the 23 June 2017, the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) has issued Recommendation No. 17, entitled, Submarine Cable Operations in Deep Seabed Mining Concessions Designated by the International Seabed Authority. ICPC Recommendation No. 17 provides procedures for due diligence in the laying and repair of submarine cables in concessions designated by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for the exploration and/or exploitation of mineral resources in the “Area”.
The NGO Human Rights at Sea just published its “Voluntary Code of Conduct for Search and Rescue Operations undertaken by civil society Non-Governmental Organisations in the Mediterranean Sea”. This document is presented as the first voluntary minimum standard guidance working towards increased levels of joint co-ordination and co-operation for the on-going humanitarian relief effort in the Mediterranean region. The first edition of the document is intended to act as the basis for rapid iterative development with as many stakeholders as possible, including European Institutions, Agencies, shipping and fishing associations and military forces. The document can be found here.
The Rotterdam World Port Days will be held from the 2-4 September 2016, with events across the city centre and port area of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Entrance is free, but some excursions require the purchase of a ticket.
For more information, and programme, see here.
World Oceans Day is celebrated today, the 8th June. This year’s theme is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”, with a focus upon plastic pollution. Various events around the World continue today, and into the forthcoming weekend, under the coordination of The Ocean Project.
For more information on what you can do, and events nearby, consult the website here.