Risk assessment for deep sea mining: An overview of risk


Deep-seabed mining is raising a variety of concerns regarding the effects of this activity on the marine environment, human health and safety, as well as socio-economic considerations. Risk management falls within a “management function” for developing, implementing and monitoring controls, and measures, as is the role of the International Seabed Authority, in contrast to a “governance function” for setting policies and direction as provided by UNCLOS. The risk assessment process is discussed for deep-seabed mining within the risk management process of ISO 31000 of identifying, analysing and evaluating risks. It highlights the importance of risk criteria in evaluating management options to reduce the risks of not achieving a policy objective such as avoiding harm to the marine environment. Administrative challenges and the need for policies and procedures are also discussed to effectively address transparency in such processes.
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