Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether the Government has any plans to reassess its position on deep seabed mining and evaluate the cost and benefit of a moratorium on deep seabed mining activities.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Implementation Agreement (IA) for Part XI of UNCLOS set out the legal framework and obligations for deep seabed mining and related activities in the areas of the seabed, ocean floor and subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), established under UNCLOS and IA, regulates all such activities.
2. Singapore is a member of the ISA Council, which is developing the rules, regulations and procedures (RRPs) for exploitation activities, to ensure that any such activity, if and when permitted, is done without harming the marine environment. We fully support the adoption of robust, clear and comprehensive RRPs by the Council before any exploitation activity is authorised to commence. Singapore is firmly committed to safeguarding the health of the ocean and will ensure that any activities carried out by our companies are consistent with international laws, including the RRPs adopted by the ISA.
3. Through a notification which took effect on July 2021, the Republic of Nauru requested that the ISA finalise the RRPs within two years (i.e. by July 2023) as provided for under UNCLOS and the IA. As a responsible member of the ISA Council, Singapore will participate actively, and contribute to the development and adoption of the RRPs.