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The human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment has been recognized by the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/RES/48/13) and the General Assembly (A/RES/76/300). The right to a healthy ocean is integral to the realization of numerous human rights and the achievement of sustainable development. The potential environmental and climate impacts of deep-sea mining present significant risks that must be addressed through a moratorium or precautionary pause. Similarly, the impacts of deep-sea fishing on the deep sea and the climate threaten the vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and consequently biodiversity as well as release carbon through disturbing the sediment.

By recognizing and protecting the right to a healthy ocean, we can ensure the long-term health and resilience of our marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. We urge the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment to prioritize this issue and advocate for measures to safeguard our ocean for present and future generations.

View the DSCC’s full submission to the Special Rapporteur of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) here.