Speaking at the contract signing between the ISA and Ifremer on Tuesday, November 18, Secretary-General Nii Allotey Odunton said the new contract marked the beginning of a new era in what has been a productive relationship between Ifremer and the ISA.
He said the contract being signed was also a pioneering contract as it covered an entirely new type of mineral resources - polymetallic sulphides - in a different geological and environmental setting on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
"The act of signing this second contract therefore merely reinforces the strong commitment of France to the Authority and to the concept of the common heritage of mankind, and further strengthens the long-lasting cooperative relationship between the Authority and Ifremer".
Seceretary-General Odunton also recognized the role of Ifremer as one of the most important research organizations in the world, in many other projects relating to marine scientific research in the deep sea including projects such as MIDAS wihtin the context of the EU.
He said Ifremer would also have an important role to play in the future elaboration of an environmental management plan for the Atlantic Ocean which has been highlighted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and that he looked forward to working witih Ifremer to further develop and implement the training obligations as the exploration programme moves forward.
Full Statement (Photo courtesy of Ifremer/S. Vandoolaghe)
The International Seabed Authority and the Institut française de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Ifremer) have signed a 15-year contract for exploration for polymetallic sulphides.
The contract was signed in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France on 18 November 2014 by the Secretary-General of the Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton and the President-Managing Director of Ifremer, François Jacq.
The exploration area is located along the mid-Atlantic Ridge and is composed of 100 blocks with a surface area of approximately 10 kilometres by 10 kilometres each; arranged in six clusters of 5 to 25 blocks.
The application for a seabed exploration contract which was approved by the Council of the Authority on 26 July 2012 is the second for Ifremer. Its first contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone was signed in June 2001.
- Ifremer Release
- Photos of the signing ceremony are courtesy of Ifremer/S.Vandoolaghe
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A Chilean Delegation led by His Excellency, Ambassador Eduardo Bonilla Menchaca, Chile’s Ambassador to Jamaica and Permanent Representative to the International Seabed Authority made a two-day visit to the ISA Secretariat on Wednesday and Thursday, 15th and 16th October 2014.
Ambassador Bonilla Menchaca was accompanied by Captain Fernando J. Mingram of the Armada de Chile, Executive Secretary of the National Oceanographic Committee of Chile and Mr. Maximiliano Jara Pozo, Third Secretary and Consul of Chile in Kingston.
The delegation was briefed by ISA senior staff on the structure and functions as well as on the work of the Authority in relation to legal and technical issues arising from deep sea mining including the status of contracts and the various capacity building initiatives provided by the Authority through the Endowment Fund and other mechanisms.