Three environmental defense organizations met this Wednesday in Lisbon to demand a “clear position” from the Portuguese government on mineral exploitation in the deep sea, hoping that it will follow the example of other countries in defending a moratorium.
“Deep sea mining is something that is not happening yet, but there are already international companies that are interested in moving forward, They have already made it known that they have the means and the money“Ana Matias, from Sciaena, who promoted the initiative along with two other non-governmental organizations, ANP|WWF and SOA (Sustainable Ocean Alliance), told the Portuguese news agency.
In one of the most touristic places in Lisbon, Chiado, banners with slogans in English were installed, as part of a European campaign against deep-sea mining, while three dancers, dressed in plastic suits, simulated the atrophy of marine life. , in a performance. unfolded on oilcloth rugs, extended next to the statue of the poet Luís Vaz de Camões.
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“It is the least known ecosystem on the planet and where a high-impact extractive activity is about to begin that can irreversibly influence the depths of the sea”said Ana Matias.
The activists have already delivered a petition with some 3,000 signatures in parliament and regret not having managed to reach the government. According to the same source, at least one large company has already applied for a license to start deep-sea mining, in an international area, in the Pacific Ocean.
“We ask that Portugal defend a moratorium, in the scope of these international negotiations, of the International Seabed Authority. Not being able to do it only in the area of authority, there is no reason not to be able to do it in national waters,” the spokesperson defended.
“This authority is managing 43% of the planet’s soil, almost half of the planet’s surface is being managed by this authority,” he stressed. The objective is to buy time to better study the deep sea.before moving on to resource exploration.
Deep-sea mining aims to extract minerals such as copper, cobalt, nickel or manganese from the seabed, with heavy machinery operating “in very adverse and risky conditions” (great depth and under great pressure), “locally destroying ecosystems and bothering others hundreds of miles around,” the organizations warned.