Portugal

Date: 10 November 2022

March 2024

27/3/24

  • Portugal expressed that no POW may be approved without a REMP and believes that REMPs should be legally binding to ensure compliance by contractors regarding their obligations to the marine environment.

25/3/24

  • Portugal noted that it should be made clear that no national of a sponsoring state should take part in the decision-making process regarding a plan of work presented by that State or submitted by contractors from that State.

22/3/24

  • Portugal questioned the legality of emergency measures taken by the Secretary-General regarding the Greenpeace protest in November 2023. 

18/3/24

  • Portugal stated that “while the ocean is in many aspects in many respects humanity’s life insurance, we are increasingly aware it is a very delicate one, threatened by multiple challenges. If years of improved marine science and more effective assessment of the marine environment, have taught us anything, is that we cannot take the oceans vital role for granted. Rather, it requires our continuous commitment to know more about it, understand it better, protect his environment and use precaution.”
  • The delegation remarked that our urgency should be to avoid harm to the marine environment and the council’s priority should be to follow the Convention and ensure that science inform its decision making.
  • On the consolidated text: Portugal noted that due to the lack of track changes we have now created different challenges. E.g. it is hard to ID the source of changes or to assess if alternative language has been used
  • “Fail to see the consensus based on the consolidated text “
  • “The fact that the text provides a certain direction does not mean that it reflects consensus” 
  • Portugal supports the participation of observers in discussions

July 2023

27/7/23

  • Portugal noted the short time countries had to review the Strategic plan and requested more time to review before adoption. – “We do not see the need to rush this process”

25/7/23

  • Portugal highlights that without the conclusion of the mining code, commercial exploitation should not and cannot take place.”The regulatory framework for activities in the area must include the most ambitious environmental strength standards and criteria as well as reliance on the best available scientific information to measure the impacts of seabed mining on the marine environment to allow inform decision making in the future.” 
  • Portugal states that marine environmental protection is a priority for Portugal.

24/7/23

  • Portugal supports the inclusion of agenda item establishing a general policy by the Assembly related to the consultation of the marine environment under the two year rule, proposed by Chile, Costa Rica, France, Palau, and Vanuatu. Portugal highlights that the Assembly and Council are different bodies, and Assembly Members should be able to openly discussed in a transparent manner and have a voice in such a fundamental discussion.

20/7/23

  • Portugal echoes Germany and others in strongly encouraging the Commission to name contractors that are not compliant 

18/7/23

  • Portugal supports comments by Belgium regarding the importance of having ways to ensure coordination with the existing special measures in areas beyond national jurisdiction and the bodies and frameworks.

14/7/23

  • In the absence of regulations and insufficient scientific knowledge, enabling the effective assessment of an activity and ensuring that such an activity will not cause harmful effects to the marine environment, Portugal joins others in advocating for a pause in the commencement of any seabed mining activities until such conditions are met.

March 2023

27/3/23

  • Stated that activities shouldn’t be allowed before adequate rulers, regs and procedures are in place and plans of work can’t be approved before such framework is in place
  • Approval of plans of work should be predicated on existence of sufficient scientific knowledge
  • Supported France’s proposal

24/3/23

  • Stated that we are bound by UNCLOS Article 145 to ensure effective the protection of the marine environment from harmful effects. The effects of DSM on biodiversity must be sufficiently researched, risks must be understood and technology must show that the environment would not be significantly harmed in line with precautionary principle.
  • We must ensure that before DSM takes place, the appropriate rules are in place in line with precaution, ecosystem and best available science.
  • Regulations must be in place before DSM takes place and must be consistent with UNCLOS. No DSM must happen if the regulations are not in place.

October/November 2022

10/11/22

  • Stressed the need to ensure transparency in the processes related to the environmental management of the common heritage of humankind. 
  • Called for the NORI EMMP to be disclosed to all stakeholders as soon as possible. 
  • Fully supported The Netherlands’ proposal for contractors that have ignored calls by the Council to be named

4/11/22

  • The delegation stated that like many other delegations, we feel it is necessary to conclude these regulations before any exploitation. We need effective compensation, protection of biodiversity and marine environment etc. Technology has to be shown now to demonstrate that it will not hurt the marine environment.

July/August 2022

1/8/22

  • The delegation stated that future generations’ wellbeing is linked to wellbeing of oceans.

21/7/22

  • The delegation stated that their key priority “is that any framework protects the marine environment. We consider all aspects of mining need to be assessed and evaluated – including processing on ships.”

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