Tonga – key statements

Date: 2 November 2022

March 2024

22/3/24

  • Tonga supports concerns over safety risks caused by Greenpeace’s actions in the Clarion Clipperton Zone in 2023.

November 2023

2/11/23

  • Tonga highlighted that: “The Authority should not be forced to wait until the environmental standards are adopted to approve an application for a plan of work for exploitation.”

July 2023

27/7/23

  • Tonga stated they support the adoption of the RRPs for exploitation.
  • Tonga supports adoption of strategic plan

25/7/23

  • Tonga highlights support in consolidating national frameworks and regulations relating to activities in the area and the need to progress negotiations towards the completion of the mining code by the Council.

October/November 2022

2/11/22

  • Tonga stated that there are too many requirements of contractors which is confusing, during discussions on Environmental Impact Statements.

July/August 2022

3/8/22

  • Stated that they are not supporting Belgium’s proposal but do see merit in the proposals and would be interested in the proposals from Australia and the Netherlands.

1/8/22

  • Tonga stated that they “had not had ample time to coordinate this request with capital, so there is a sense of uneasiness, without receiving proper direction, however, I recognize the intent of the proposal is to open discussion but we recognize that we are still in the middle of two-year rule so there is still time to take action. I feel that in due course we will have to come to that in terms of trying to force the way forward after the two-year period.”
  • They also stated that sea levels will continue to rise and that SIDS are more vulnerable with current baselines threatened.

27/7/22

  • Stated that they were not in favor of including the word “relevant” or “adjacent” commenting It is not clear how these would be determined stating that “Article 142 of UNCLOS provides rights for coastal states across whose jurisdiction resource deposits lie. Tonga does not consider that the Authority is required to consult prior to developing measures to implement the regulations. The powers of the ISA to create and adopt rules, regulations, and procedures are outlined in the convention. It would be inappropriate to restrict powers by way of regulations.”
  • The DSCC commented that scientific research has shown that sediment from the discharge plume can travel over 1,400 km, so using the word adjacent may not cover all affected States, and therefore potentially affected states may therefore not be adjacent.
  • Earthworks stated that they did not know why the regulations would not include relevant coastal states broadly due to impacts on the wider pacific, impacts on migratory populations of tunas and turtles could be affected by mining activities in the CCZ.

22/7/22

  • Tonga stated that they were “concerned by the apparent lack of progress with respect to the identification and preparation by the Commission of the phase two standards and guidelines.”
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