Keynote Speaker COST Symposium Tenerife: Professor Philip P. E. Weaver

From 2. November 2017

©Prof. Philip P.E. Weaver

Keynote Speaker Prof. Philip P. E. Weaver on Policy Development in Relation to Deep Sea Mining

We are happy to announce that Prof. Philip Weaver, Managing Director of Seascape Consultants Ltd., will be giving one of the two keynotes to open the symposium of our COST Action Ocean Governance for Sustainability on 15th November 2017 in Tenerife.

Abstract: Deep-sea mining may be just a few years away.  Test mining has been carried out off Japan in the last few months and the International Seabed Authority is developing its exploitation regulations, which are expected to be completed by 2020; equipment is being designed and tested by several organisations. Exploitation will begin against a backdrop of poor scientific knowledge although we do know that many of the ecosystems will take tens of years to centuries to recover from the impacts and that these may be aerially very extensive. Adaptive management will be difficult as investment levels in equipment will be very large and a full system cannot be tested in stages. This talk will set the scene to discuss what policies can be developed to achieve a precautionary approach and what are the key issues to address in such policies.

About the speaker: Professor Phil Weaver trained as a geologist and completed a PhD in micropalaeontology in 1978.  He joined the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences in the UK in 1980 and transferred with them to the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton in 1995.  Through most of his career he has been involved in studies of sedimentary processes in the deep ocean, especially investigating the history of landslides from the Canary Islands and NW African margin.  In 1993 he was co-chief scientist on an International Ocean Drilling Project to the Canary Basin that studied the volcanic development of Gran Canaria and the history of continental margin erosion by landsliding and sediment mass wasting.  He has conducted many investigations around the world into sediment stability on continental margins, including numerous site and pipeline investigations for the hydrocarbon industry.

Phil has been involved in a large number of international projects and has coordinated five EC-funded European research projects investigating a range of marine topics.  His career has gradually taken him into research areas with more environmental focus.  He was scientific coordinator of the highly successful FP6 HERMES project (2005-2009) and its FP7 successor, the HERMIONE project (2009-2012). These two projects led him to develop a strong interest in sustainable management of the deep sea. Phil presented results from the HERMIONE project at the UN General Assembly in September 2009 regarding the impacts of bottom fishing in the deep-sea.

Phil recently coordinated the MIDAS project (2013-2016) that investigated the environmental impacts of deep-sea mining. This project brought together a group of scientists, legal experts, policy makers and industrial partners to understand the potential scale of the environmental issues and it has made many recommendations to aid the development of regulations to control this new industry. Phil is also involved in the Blue Nodules project that is developing deep-sea mining equipment; his role is to identify areas where improved equipment design can reduce environmental impacts.

Professor Weaver was Director of the NERC Strategic Research Division at NOC from 2006 – 2010. He left NOC in 2010 to set up Seascape Consultants Ltd, though he remains a Senior Visiting Fellow of NOC and still actively publishes his research in leading marine science journals. Phil is also a director of Seascape Belgium.