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Keep the Ocean Blue: The opportunity cost of deep-sea mining and compensation for ecosystem services provided by Pacific Small Island Developing States

Working paper

Image credit:Tuvalu. Credit: UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.

The concept of the blue economy has recently gained considerable status as a key determinant for a resilient and sustainable economic development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Deep-sea mining (DSM) activities are on the horizon, with marine minerals possibly providing an alternative source of economic growth if they are suitable for commercial exploitation.

This working paper focuses on the opportunity cost consideration of deep-sea mining (DSM) and the potential means for compensation for the ecosystem services that island states provide to humanity by not mining their oceanic minerals. It unpacks some of the differing views of DSM, which can be seen as a key tool for operationalising the blue economy and ensuring sustainable economic transition in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), but one which presents challenges such as environmental and social impacts if pursued in its current form.

Author: Viliame Kasanawaqa

Viliame Kasanawaqa presented the initial draft of this paper at the SIDS Future Forum in March 2024. Timestamp 1:00


SIDS Future Forum 3