Payment protection for the deep sea

Jan 24, 2014

A Heriot-Watt biologist is among a team of environmental economists, policy developers and biologists who have called for formal governance to detail how to pay for the restoration and protection of deep-sea ecosystems damaged by commercial interests.

The call comes in an article in the magazine Nature co-authored by Dr. Lea-Anne Henry, a biologist at Heriot-Watt. It says that such a move, which should be implemented by 2020, is timely. "Payment protection of this sort would be a definite game-changer for the deep sea. Our global strategy outlines the creation of a new fund, rooted in legal framework, which could be tapped into as early as 2015 for research, development and implementation of restoration in candidate protected areas."

The article points to a key decision on an amendment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea which would add a biodiversity-conservation agreement, the outcome of which will be known in late 2015. Further to this, the UN General Assembly is deciding on whether to develop a new body to protect the deep sea outside of national jurisdictions, or whether the mandate of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) should be extended in close co-operation with the Convention on Biological Diversity which calls for the protecting and restoring 10% of the oceans by 2020.

A restoration fund of $30 million USD per annum should, the articles authors say, be established and perhaps managed by the ISA. The fund would comprise a portfolio of voluntary contributions and taxation payments of 1% of revenues from companies that undertake activities which harm the seafloor. Another alternative would be to create an international finance facility that would mobilise funds for deep-sea from international capital markets by issuing long-term bonds to be repaid by donor countries over 20–30 years.

Explore further: The green lungs of our planet are changing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nations gather to discuss ocean protection

Oct 18, 2013

Policymakers from some 100 nations meet in France next week to bolster efforts to have 10 percent of the world's marine and coastal areas under protection by 2020, conference organisers said Friday.

Exciting finds in Scottish underwater surveys

Dec 24, 2013

What has been described as the 'UK's biggest and best known example' of an unusual marine habitat has been found in a Scottish loch during surveys carried out by scientists from Heriot-Watt, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) ...

Recommended for you

The green lungs of our planet are changing

1 hour ago

Are leaves and buds developing earlier in the spring? And do leaves stay on the trees longer in autumn? Do steppe ecosystems remaining green longer and are the savannas becoming drier and drier? In fact, over recent decades, ...

Researchers connect climate change to food safety

3 hours ago

Climate change can affect our food safety in a number of ways. In a European study, researchers at Wageningen University and Ghent University (Belgium) state that there is often a relationship between long-term changes in ...

Shale gas in doubt in UK's low-carbon transition

5 hours ago

Academics from Warwick Business School and University College London have published an opinion piece based on research funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) advising policymakers that, because of continuing economic, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TechnoCreed
not rated yet Jan 24, 2014
Yet another NGO who is going to break their back by confronting the vacuity of intellect of our 'anything for profit' world.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.