International Seabed Authority Must Strike a Balance With Real Metal

The increasing demand for rare metals such as lithium and molybdenum in science and technology industry indicates explosive growth in seabed mining industry in the next few years. On July 18, IUCN added scaly snails to its Red List of Threatened Species - the first to be threatened by deep-sea mining. Marine animals account for only three locations in the western Indian Ocean; these locations include locations identified for mining. According to nature, the state and companies have signed about 1.3 million square kilometers of seabed mining and exploration contracts, which means thousands of marine species, many of which have not even been discovered are facing unprecedented extinction and risk of extinction.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA), which is responsible for deep-sea mining in international waters, also has the right to protect the international seabed. Even if seabed mining norms are expected to be finalized by 2020, they must take into account a number of factors that make deep-sea mining almost unfavorable to the long-term protection of the Earth's interests - concerns that deep-sea mining will release large amounts of carbon deposited in deep-sea sediments and exacerbate the conditions at the forefront of climate change. Marine scientists wrote an open letter to the ISA requesting independent scientists to assess corporate/national proposals and to work closely with intergovernmental organizations that could consider protection issues in advance in negotiations with companies, especially since ISA seemed to give priority to its development role in protection. However, given that the future of the planet is also related to technological development, ISA must achieve a good balance.

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