Outreach
Bringing the Ocean to Society
2 Apr 2018
Deep sea mining stakeholders have made their voice heard in the Azores
EurOcean promoted an open discussion within the scope of the MARINA project and the results are now available.

In 2018 EurOcean is dedicating part of its activity within the H2020 funded MARINA project to discussing Deep Sea Mining (DSM). In March we went to the Azores and ran a vibrant Portugal-focused World Café about Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) actions in relation to deep sea mining in the North Atlantic should the activity ever take place there.

And we are already planning another event. This time the scope is international and we want to gather perspectives about how RRI can serve to bridge DSM, sustainability and policy. This second workshop will take place in Lisbon on 7 May and will run as a  Structured Democratic Dialog Process (SDDP). The number of places is limited but registration is open to any citizen, researcher, NGO, policy maker, technician and company who is interested in DSM or in the ocean in general or even in innovative forms of stakeholder engagement and public consultation. If you are interested in attending, send an email to tiago.garcia@eurocean.org before 20 April. 

In case you are wondering what exactly took place in the Azores and what the results of the first workshop were, we have two suggestions: 1) go to the MARINA website, become a member of the community by registering in the project’s knowledge sharing platform and access the documents, materials and pictures related to that event and all the others which have taken place around Europe, and 2) read below to have a glimpse of the outcomes.

Fifty-five stakeholders brainstormed actions related to DSM. They did it by randomly moving around three different tables in which they they addressed one of these sub-themes:

  • RRI actions
  • Social and environmental actions
  • Economic and governance actions

One of the most exciting topics concerned what is the correct thing to do: to invest in research and innovation to reduce the impacts and risks of deep sea mining or to invest in changing lifestyle habits that reduce the need of more resources? Is the solution in the bottom of the sea or in our houses?

Once the discussion came to an end, the stakeholders voted their favourite actions among all that emerged during the enriching afternoon. Each stakeholder voted on his/hers favourite idea of the three sub-themes and received a limited number of additional votes to distribute freely. Here are the results:

Incentive the circular economy

17

Promote a deliberative democracy in which the public decides

16

Invest on research about the deep sea resources and the DSM impacts

15

Impose a moratorium on DSM until the knowledge level is sufficient to support decisions

14

Create laws that impose that DSM is a non-profit activity

14

Convert the deep sea floor into a World Heritage Site

14

Invest on the development of new technologies and materials that do not require deep sea resources

13

Create laws to oblige public participation and to make the decision-making process transparent

11

Increase the national sovereignty over the continental shelf

10

Disseminate information about threats and risks

10

Create a legal framework for DSM

8

Invest on the training of politicians and public institutions technicians

7

Promote science dissemination actions

4

Promote exhibitions, debates, documentaries, outreach action and science news on TV

3

Include ocean literacy in all school programmes

3

Democratise the economy to put sustainability over profit

2

Profits of DSM companies should revert to the local societies

2

Oblige politicians to demonstrate that their decisions are science-based

2

Create a research centre for the North Atlantic

2

Oblige DSM companies to conduct and pay pre-feasibility studies and monitoring programmes

2

Disseminate science at a local level

0

Simplify scientific language to be understandable by all

0

Make decision-makers responsible for the consequences of their policies

0

Regulate the licensing process of DSM by the Estate

0

Teach how to access and use science

0

Transfer scientific knowledge to the industry

0

Create online platform to bridge society and governance

0

Increase the national budget for science

0

Promote open data policies

0

Further explore in-land mines instead of DSM

0

Define limits for the areas to be explored by DSM

0

Create training opportunities concerning deep sea mining

0

Conduct pre-feasibility studies about DSM

0

Create conditions for foreigner investment

0

 

Do you feel your perspectives about DSM are not reflected in these results?

Do you want to support the results above?

Do you think the Portuguese stakeholders missed something important?

Do you believe that the implementation of RRI in DSM at an international scale needs to address other aspects?

Do you want to defend your organizations's position or your own point of view?

Great! Send an email to tiago.garcia@eurocean.org before 20 April to register in the upcoming event and make sure your voice is heard in the MARINA International Workshop to take place on 7 May in the  Gulbenkian Foundation, in the centre of Lisbon.

As a final note - and because DSM is indeed a very hot topic - it is important to remember that EurOcean and MARINA are mere mediators aiming at promoting an inclusive, plural and constructive debate. We have no pre-defined position nor vested interest in any of the specific marine issues addressed in the workshops that we and the MARINA consortium partners have been organising throughout Europe in 2017 and 2018. Our goal is simply to create conditions for everyone to express their voice, gather a broad set of perspectives, conduct a free voting and make sure the resuting roadmap reaches the European Commission. In other words we are putting Responsible Research and Innovation into action. 

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