Participation of Indigenous peoples in decision making over deep-seabed mining

Morgera, Elisa (2024) Participation of Indigenous peoples in decision making over deep-seabed mining. AJIL Unbound, 118. pp. 93-97. ISSN 2398-7723 (

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In this essay, I reflect on the challenges and opportunities in ensuring the genuine and meaningful participation of Indigenous peoples at the International Seabed Authority (ISA), with a view to giving due consideration to Indigenous peoples' human rights and integrating their knowledge into international decisions on deep-seabed mining. The essay begins with an assessment of how the current limitations in transparency and public participation in the practice of the ISA1 constitute barriers for the participation of Indigenous peoples. I then argue that existing international human rights obligations require Indigenous peoples' participation at the ISA and that entry points within the ISA regime already exist to comply with these obligations. I conclude by emphasizing the need to support meaningful participation by Indigenous peoples through social sciences expertise and the involvement of independent international human rights experts, to actively address any biases vis-à-vis Indigenous knowledge.