United Nations News

Solwara 1 project seabed mining tools. Courtesy Nautilus Minerals.

Will 2020 be the year for Subsea Mining?

coastal state’s regulations.  Some of the Pacific Island nations which early on had significant offshore mineral discoveries have enacted their own legislation to govern mining.  For the many areas of commercial interest which fall outside these coastal state boundaries; the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which established the International Seabed Authority (ISA) came into force in 1994. The ISA has since then met with stakeholders to further its main goals of regulating deep-sea mining and protecting the ocean environment from any harmful effects of mining operations

(Photo: Ocean Infinity)

Ocean Infinity Launches Large-scale Ocean Study

scientists and academics, will contribute to providing a base line study of deep sea ecosystems. The information obtained from the samples will contribute to better understanding the oceans’ ecosystems and environment, which in turn will facilitate their conservation and protection in line with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.Ocean Infinity and NTNU have developed specific equipment for deep-sea sampling from Ocean Infinity’s remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and the operators have been trained by scientists from NTNU to ensure the data is gathered and stored in the best possible

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

IMO Launches Compendium

trade simpler and the logistics chain more efficient, for the more than 10 billion tons of goods which are traded by sea annually across the globe.IMO is not the only organization dealing with electronic data exchange in maritime transport. But others, notably the World Customs Organization, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the International Standards Organization, have aligned their own data structures with the IMO Compendium to promote harmonization

Cobalt-rich ferromanganese crust in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: Christopher Kelley / NOAA)

China Leading the Deep Sea Mining Race

and electric car batteries, and the need to diversify supply.The ISA has already signed 30 contracts with governments, research institutions and commercial entities for exploration phase, with China holding the most, five contracts.The body, which was established to manage the seabed resources by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is aiming to adopt seabed mineral exploitation rules by July 2020."I do believe that China could easily be among the first (to start exploitation)," Michael Lodge, ISA general-secretary, who visited China last week, said."The demand for

Swedish icebreaker Oden (Photo: University of Rhode Island)

Scientists Find Micro Plastic in Arctic Ice

the impact of manmade climate change on the Arctic, whose role as the planet's cooling system is being compromised by the rapid vanishing of summer sea ice.But the plastic fragments -- known as microplastic -- also served to highlight how the waste problem has reached epidemic proportions. The United Nations estimates that 100 million tonnes of plastic have been dumped in the oceans to date.The researchers said the ice they sampled appeared to be at least a year old and had probably drifted into Lancaster Sound from more central regions of the Arctic.Plastic snowfallThe team plans to subject the

Photo: JW Fishers

JW Fishers’ Dropped Video Systems for Aquaculture

as a vast food producer by the increase in the population of the world.” - T.F. GaskelAquaculture specialists perform their research to gain knowledge and develop their skills in the farming of aquatic life and to better understand the necessary tasks for the preservation of these species. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has determined that 50% of the world’s food-fish come from aquaculture fish farms. With a skyrocketing global population and food demands growing at an incredible rate, the aquaculture specialist’s job is no easy task. The first necessity is

Riachuelo submarine during launching. Image Marinha do Brasil

World Navies: Brazil´s Riachuelo Submarine

and mineral resources. The incredible environmental and financial wealth found in these waters, and under the seabed gave way to the term - Blue Amazon – relating to the Amazon Jungle. The Blue Amazon officially covers an area of 3.5 million square kilometers. However, Brazil is calling on the United Nations to expand its borders to the limits of the continental shelf, which should raise the sea area to about 4.5 million square kilometers - equivalent to half of Brazil's land area.To protect this natural heritage and guarantee Brazilian sovereignty at sea, the Brazilian Navy (BN) invests in the

Each year, the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) sponsors the Rhodes Academy Submarine Cables Writing Award for a deserving paper addressing submarine cables and their relationship with the law of the sea.

Submarine Cables Writing Award

Academy of Oceans Law and Policy brings together approximately 50 mid-career professionals from around the world to study and learn from leading ocean law and science scholars, judges, and practitioners (including ICPC representatives) about the law of the sea and its key legal instrument—the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It is organised by a consortium of research universities and institutes and led by the University of Virginia. The Rhodes Academy’s twenty-fourth session will convene from 30 June to 19 July 2019, in Rhodes, Greece. Numerous students affiliated

Yohei Sasakawa launches the operational phase of The Nippon Foundation – GEBCO Seabed 2030 project in Tokyo in February 2018. Photo: GEBCO Seabed 2030

OiA '19 & GEBCO Seabed 2030

about the surface of Mars than the Earth’s ocean floor’ has become something of an overused phrase, but that doesn’t make it any less accurate – or imperative.It is precisely this situation which The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project seeks to address. Launched at the United Nations’ Ocean Conference in New York in June 2017, the project’s purpose is misleadingly straightforward: to map the entirety of the world’s ocean floor by 2030.The Nippon Foundation has already committed to providing approximately $2 million per year as seed money for Seabed 2030

(Photo: Flipflopi)

Boat Made of Flip-flops Sails for Cleaner Seas

.At an international conference on building a "sustainable blue economy", hosted by Kenya in November, governments and experts committed to improving the health of oceans, seas, lakes and rivers, while harnessing their potential to create jobs.The FlipFlopi's expedition came ahead of the United Nations Environment Assembly in March, where more than 190 nations will discuss innovative solutions to make production and consumption greener, and other critical environmental challenges.The boat will be on show in Nairobi during the gathering.The Flipflopi arrived in Stone Town, Zanzibar, on Feb.

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