Apia, Samoa –The Government of Samoa is this week hosting a regional workshop on deep sea minerals policy and legislative drafting organised with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Funded by the European Union, the training workshop is bringing together 60 government representatives from 13 Pacific Island countries to improve their understanding of the international legal regime for deep sea minerals activities and their policy formulation and legislative drafting skills.
As global interest in deep sea minerals increases, particularly in the Pacific region, effective policy and legal development are seen as vital to ensure that any deep sea mineral activities are conducted and managed in compliance with international standards and best environmental practices.
The three major deep sea mineral deposits that are attracting commercial interest include seafloor massive sulphides (which contain high concentrations of metals such as copper, gold, silver, zinc and lead), manganese nodules and cobalt-rich crusts.
All three mineral deposits occur in the Exclusive Economic Zones of many Pacific Island countries and are increasingly being recognised as a potential source of revenue and economic development.
“The Samoa Government is privileged to host this regional workshop that is aimed to elevate the standard of deep sea minerals policy and legislative development and would like to thank SPC and the European Union for their continuous support provided to our country as we learn more about this emerging area,” the Government of Samoa’s Assistant Attorney General, Loretta Teueli, said.
Few countries in the world have taken the vital legal steps to ensure that regulatory frameworks are in place to regulate and monitor deep sea minerals activities, so the Pacific is leading the way, according to SPC’s Deep Sea Minerals Project Manager, Akuila Tawake.
“This workshop is aligned with one of the strategic objectives of the Deep Sea Minerals Project which is to prepare Pacific Island countries wanting to engage in deep sea mining activities to effectively regulate and manage the activities carried out under their responsibility,” Mr Tawake said.
The intensive workshop is taking place from 18 to 22 May in Apia as part of the SPC-European Union Deep Sea Minerals Project: http://gsd.spc.int/dsm/. The Project involves 15 Pacific Community members who are part of the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) grouping.