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09th February 2023
11:30 GMT

Crush Hall, L69 3GQ

Rozemarijn Roland Holst:
Deep Seabed Mining: Risk, Benefit and Environmental Justice

This presentation looks at current developments in relation to deep seabed mining in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Quite uniquely under international law, mineral resources in ‘the Area’ are designated as Common Heritage of Humankind and a dedicated international organisation, the International Seabed Authority (ISA), is tasked with administering activities in the Area ‘for the benefit of humankind as a whole’. The ISA has reached a crucial point in the implementation of its mandate as it is under increasing pressure to finalise and adopt the complex body of regulations that would allow the commercial exploitation phase of deep seabed mining to commence. At the same time, calls for a moratorium on deep seabed mining are getting louder among member states, scientists, NGOs, and civil society alike, together with growing concerns about the current scientific knowledge gaps in relation to the deep sea ecosystem. This presentation will critically review these developments in light of the applicable legal framework and the commercial, environmental, and distributive components of the ISA’s mandate which are proving difficult to reconcile. It will focus on the diverging conceptions of ‘risk’ and ‘benefit’ associated with deep seabed mining and how these ought to be informed by principles of environmental and distributive justice under the common heritage regime.

    Rozemarijn Roland HolstDurham University

Dr Rozemarijn Roland Holst is Assistant Professor in International Environmental Law at Durham University. Her research and expertise span across the fields of international law of the sea, international environmental law and climate change law. Research themes include the interaction between law, science, and new technology, (critical) environmental law and political economy, international organisations law, and international dispute settlement. As a consultant, Rozemarijn has advised on various areas of environmental law and law of the sea, and she serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the cross-sectoral consultative body on Dutch North Sea policy. Previously, she was Assistant Professor in Public International Law at Utrecht University and a senior research associate of the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea. Rozemarijn holds a PhD (cum laude) from Utrecht University, an LLM (with distinction) from the University of Edinburgh, and an LLB (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam.