Position paper of German civil society organisations on Deep Sea Mining
According to the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Germany imports over 90 million tonnes of metal annually for the production of machines, electrical equipment or automobiles. In addition, many raw materials are imported in processed and intermediate products. These consumption and production patterns exceed our planetary boundaries and contradict global resource justice. On a global level, the extraction of raw materials is linked to high social and ecological costs. These costs are not reflected in the price of raw materials and finished products and its consequences are mostly borne in the countries of the Global South. In many cases, the extraction is also associated with human rights violations.
With the continuously soaring hunger for ever new raw material sources throughout the globe and the low yields from terrestrial deposits, the focus is increasingly shifting towards the marine mineral resources of the oceans and seas. Today, numerous exploration and research projects for deep sea mining are under way.
The German government supports a number of industry and research initiatives, both politically and financially that massively promote deep sea mining. In the face of these trends, environmental, development and human rights organisations associated in the German NGO Working Group on Deep Sea Mining are calling for a rethinking and consequently a change in policy-making. The total raw materials consumption in Germany and Europe must be drastically reduced. The deep sea has to be protected as humanity’s common heritage. Deep sea mining is incompatible with the preservation and conservation of this heritage, but is on the contrary linked to severe disturbances of marine ecosystems, biodiversity loss and incalculable consequences for the marine world and the people living in coastal areas. Deep sea mining is the opposite of a sustainable raw materials policy.
The German NGO Working Group on Deep Seabed Mining (AG Tiefseebergbau) comprises member organisations of the Working Group Oceans (AG Meere) in the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development (Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung) and the Working Group on Raw Materials (AK Rohstoffe).
Download the Position Paper