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United Nations Environmental Programme

Topic A: Deep Sea Mining
Topic B: Deforestation

Chair: Andrea Wright

Director: Hayden Boilini

Dear Delegates,

Hello and welcome to the UN Environment Programme! I am so excited to work with all of ou on some of the most pressing environmental issues the world faces today.

I’m currently a sophomore at Miami studying marine science and geology. While I’m originally from Wisconsin, I enrolled in Miami when I realized I’d rather study the ocean than Lake Michigan. I have been a member of Miami’s Model UN team since the beginning of my freshman year. I have served as the Under-Secretary General of Public Relations for MICSUN V, the MUN team Recruitment Chair, and a co-chair of the exploratory committee for the  proposed college conference at Miami, 305MUN. While I have prior chairing experience, this will be my first time chairing a committee at MICSUN. Outside of MUN, I am a member of Miami’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team, the Sigma Gamma Epsilon Geology Honor Society, and Student Government.

I am excited to unite my passions for Model UN and the environment in our discussion of deep sea mining and deforestation. These topics are becoming increasingly important as our world adjusts to depleting energy resources and the effects of climate change. It is my hope that what you learn in this committee will be interesting and relevant to you in years to come.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you have about the topics, committee procedure, or anything else.

I’m looking forward to meeting all of you!

Best,

Andrea Wright

Chair, United Nations Environment Programme

Miami International Conference for the Simulation of the United Nations

amw174@miami.edu

From the chair

Topic A

Deep Sea Mining

Deep sea mining is a relatively new method for extracting Rare Earth Elements. These elements include gold, copper, silver, zinc, and many others used in part as electronic or manufacturing components. While deep sea mining was first theorized decades ago, only today is it becoming technically and economically feasible. This new surge in the practice has raised concerns about its environmental impact and government oversight. Right now, the international community is at a crossroads. Environmental activists see this as an opportunity to evaluate the full consequences of deep sea mining before seabeds around the world are torn up for minerals. Many national governments see this as their chance to boost their economics and gain access to mineral resources far outside the reach of conflict zones and corrupt government partners.

Every year, swaths of forest the size of Panama are harvested, destroying the habitats of millions of organisms. At the current rate of deforestation, in one hundred years the world’s rain forest will vanish completely. Human factors such as agriculture and the logging industry have combined with natural factors such as overgrazing and wildfires to destroy forests at such an alarming rate. While some nations are more affected by deforestation than others, deforestation also drive climate change, making it an issue that all nations must address. Delegates must work together to curb deforestation while still allowing countries to grow and develop sustainably.

Topic B

Deforestation