Adaptive Management of Deep-Seabed Mining Projects: A Systems Approach

Hyman, J., Stewart, R.A. and Sahin, O. (2021)  Adaptive Management of Deep-Seabed Mining Projects: A Systems Approach. Integr Environ Assess Manag.

Increasing demand for the metals used in clean energy technologies, including electric vehicles, has led to increased demand for certain metals such as nickel, cobalt and magnesium. This demand has in turn led to an expanding interest in deep‐seabed mining (DSM). The main concerns about DSM relate to the incomplete information available about the environmental risks associated with seabed mineral extraction.

Adaptive management is an iterative process for reducing uncertainty that can be applied by both mining companies and regulatory bodies. This paper reviews the key opportunities to operationalise adaptive management in DSM projects and highlights the need for a framework to move from theory to practice. The discussion proposes a systems approach to adaptive management, which could help to guide the environmental management of deep‐sea mineral extraction.

This article will be part of the IEAM special series titled “Implications of Deep-sea Mining on Marine Ecosystems.” The series comprises the current state of the science regarding deep-sea ocean ecosystems and the likely ecological footprints, risks, and consequences of deep-sea mining.

The full paper can be found here.