Call to Action

Ensuring the Stewardship of the Area and its resources for the benefit of all humanity through science, technology and innovation

In accordance with UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement pertaining to the implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS, ISA is mandated to regulate and control activities in the Area, and to take measures necessary for the effective protection of the marine environment from potential harmful effects that may arise from seabed activities. ISA is also required to promote the conduct of marine scientific research in the Area and to coordinate and disseminate the results, when available.


The ISA commitment for promoting marine scientific research is well reflected in its strategic framework, especially its Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development which was adopted unanimously in 2020 by all the ISA Members and which has since served as a global deep-sea research agenda to advance general knowledge and understanding of the deep-sea and its ecosystems. Through its six strategic research priorities, the Action Plan provides a building block for advancing global deep-sea research efforts in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The central role of deep-sea research under the auspices of ISA as well as its contribution to the progress made towards the implementation of the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda have been assessed by an independent report commissioned by the Secretary-General that was released in November 2021. The report underscored the pivotal role of science in the effective implementation of UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement, as a fundamental pillar of the sustainable management of global commons and as a cornerstone of a strong multilateralism to achieve inclusive, balanced and equitable sustainable ocean management for all.

In the margins of the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Summit held in New York, ISA together with Bangladesh and Argentina launched a global Call to action for ensuring the stewardship of the Area and its resources for the benefit of all humanity through deep-sea science, technology and innovation.

The Call for Action aims to further collective action around four key priorities:

  1. increasing investments in science and technology;
  2. aligning relevant research agendas with the global deep-sea research agenda;
  3. promoting deep-sea literacy; and
  4. leveraging ISA’s experiences to support the implementation of the Agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (2023 Agreement).

Since then, the initiative has received significant support by Member States and has also been recently open to signature by ISA stakeholders.