Environmental management plan for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone
Based on the recommendation of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) (ISBA/17/LTC/7), the Council of ISA adopted the first environmental management plan (EMP) for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) (ISBA/18/C/22) in 2012.
The CCZ-EMP also included the designation of a network of nine “areas of particular environmental interest” (APEIs). APEIs are designed to protect biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function across the region and are protected from future exploitation of mineral resources. Under paragraph 42 of the CCZ-EMP, the LTC is responsible for reviewing the APEIs and determining their suitability or need for adjustment, particularly regarding the number of APEIs and their size and location. The plan is subject to a periodic external review by the LTC every two to five years, as required.
In line with these provisions, the ISA Secretariat, in collaboration with the Deep CCZ Project, convened the workshop on the CCZ biodiversity synthesis in October 2019. The workshop built on LTC discussions from 2016 during deliberations on proposals for additional APEIs. The key scientific results are summarized in the workshop report published in 2019.
Drawing on the outcomes of the CCZ Biodiversity Synthesis Workshop, the LTC reviewed the implementation of the CCZ-EMP and formulated recommendations on further actions to advance the objectives of the CCZ-EMP (ISBA/26/C/43). Based on these recommendations, the Council adopted a decision (ISBA/26/C/58) in December 2021, approving the establishment of four additional APEIs in the CCZ to enhance the effectiveness of the overall APEI network.
The environmental management plan for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone identifies a network of 13 areas of particular environmental interest that are entirely protected from deep-seabed mining.
In total, the network of APEIs represents 1.97 million km2 of protected seabed.