The deep seabed is the least understood ecosystem on Earth and is known to contain mineral resources in some areas. These ores also contain small amounts of minerals used in the production of batteries for electric cars, mobile telephones, and other electronic devices. Their extraction presents significant technical challenges and is not as yet financially viable. Environmental reviews have shown that deep seabed mining could result in irreversible harms on a large scale. Efforts continue to promote the development of deep seabed mining despite low commodity prices and the resulting uncertainty around its economic benefits. At present, the extraction of mineral resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction is not the subject of a comprehensive legal framework with the capacity to protect marine ecosystems from the anticipated impacts. The project Ecological Guardrails for Deep Seabed Mining evaluates potential environmental impacts and advises the German Federal Environment Agency on the development of environmental standards to safeguard the sustainability of deep seabed mining under the supervision of the International Seabed Authority.
This project is being commissioned by the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) within the framework of the environmental research plan - research number 3715 25 200 0 - and financed with German government funds.