International Workshop on Capacity development, resources and needs assessment


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The ISA Secretariat will organize an international workshop on “Capacity development, resources and needs assessment” in Kingston, Jamaica, from 10-12 February 2020.

Held over three-days, the workshop will be designed and structured with the intention to achieve the following objectives:

1) Clarifying the nature and objectives of capacity-building and technical assistance provided by ISA in the context of Part XI of UNCLOS;

2) Undertaking an assessment of: (a) the capacity-building needs of the developing States, Parties to UNCLOS and Members of ISA; and (b) the current capacity-building initiatives and programmes implemented by ISA in order to understand how to improve their effectiveness and impact; (c) the resources available to ISA to address such needs.

3) Identifying the core elements for the design and development of a dedicated strategy for capacity-building activities that will measurably contribute to increase capacities of ISA member States in specific area(s) identified.

The ISA Strategic Plan for 2019-2023 (ISBA/24/A/10) and the High Level Action Plan relating to its implementation (ISBA/25/A/15) explicitly recognise the role of ISA in ensuring that capacity-building measures are developed and implemented to meet the needs of developing States (Strategic Direction 5) and in promoting the participation of developing States in activities undertaken in the Area (Strategic Direction 6).

To fulfil that role, specific actions need to be undertaken by the Secretariat by 2020, as it relates to the identification of the capacity needs of developing States, in particular geographically disadvantaged States, small island developing States (SIDS), least developed countries (LDCs) and land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) (High Level Action 5.1.1).

It is envisaged that the discussion held at this workshop will provide the Secretariat of ISA with the necessary elements to start developing a dedicated strategy that will be designed with the view to shifting from training individuals to enhancing in-country capacity through an adjustment of ISA programmes to the specific needs and priorities of member States.

As part of the preparatory work prior to the workshop, the Secretariat is currently undertaking a series of reviews on the capacity-building activities implemented by ISA (Contractor Training, Endowment Fund for Marine Scientific Research, internships etc.). It is expected that these reviews would facilitate a holistic discussion during the workshop. The outcomes of these reviews would be shared with Members and Observers as well as confirmed workshop participants, in due course.



Presentation | Objectives of the workshop  and expected outcomes; HE Mathu Joyini, Director, Diplomatic Training and Support (DIRCO), South African

Presentation |  Key findings of the assessment of the capacity building programmes and initiatives implemented by the ISA;  Marie Bourrel-Mckinnon, Senior Policy Officer-Special Assistant to the Secretary-General, ISA


Presentation | Key findings of the assessment of the Contractor Training Programme

Presentation | Perspectives on Capacity Building; John Parianos, Manager Exploration and Polymetallic Nodules, Tonga Offshore Mining Limited

PresentationVideo | Assessment of the GSR Training Programme;  Francois Charlet, Exploration Manager - Marine Geologist, GSR

Presentation | Assessment of the COMRA Contractor Training Programme, Jun Jiang-Deputy Permanent Representative of China to ISA 

Presentation | Exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts; Judith Owusu, 

Presentation | Video  | Promoting increased participation of developing states in marine scientific research programmes and transfer of technology through capacity-building: the role of the International Seabed Authority; Hank Hedge, Ministry of Transport and Mining


Presentation |  Key findings of the assessment of the Endowment Fund for Marine Scientific Research in the Area; Tearinaki Tanielu, Consultant &  Marie Bourrel-Mckinnon, ISA

Presentation | Capacity building/development and academic research: an experience through InterRidge and beyond;  Jérôme Dyment, InterRidge Chair, CNRS and Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris


Presentation | Assessment of the Internship Programme; Kayon Wray, Senior Training Assistant, ISA

Presentation | Case Study - Overview of the Fellowship Initiatives implemented in other UN institutions, Ximena Hinrichs, Registrar, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

Presentation | Capacity-Building and Fellowship Programmes; Ms Jessica Howley, Legal Officer, DOALOS

Presentation | Case Study - Former Intern; David Garzon, Pico, Ecuador


Presentation | Case Study 1 : Abyssal Initiative project; Sainivalati S. Navoti (Sai), Chief, SIDS Unit Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UN-DESA

Presentation | Case Study 2 - ADSR Project; Marie Bourrel-Mckinnon, ISA


Presentation | Video | Case study: ISA-China Joint Training Centre- update, objectives, activities, program of work, way forward; Shi Xianpeng, National Deep Sea Center – Mrs Jihyun Lee, Director of the Office of Environmental Management and Mineral
Resources, ISA


Presentation | Importance of capacity-building for SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the other high-level frameworks; USG Fekitamoeloa Tpoupai Utoikamanu, High Representative for small island States, least developed countries and land-locked developing countries, UN-OHRLLS

Presentation | The identification of capacity development needs and priorities by developping States – What methodology? Marie Bourrel-Mckinnon, Senior Policy Officer-Special Assistant to the Secretary-General, ISA

Presentation | Case Study - Overview of the Technology Bank for the LDCs; Joshua Setipa, Director, Technology Bank for the LDCs

Presentation | Case study: overview of potential future capacity needs in deep sea research; Luciana Genio, Environment Analyst, ISA


Presentation | Empowering women in the maritime community; Professor Ronán Long, Director at WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute of the World Maritime University 

Presentation |  Enhancing the role of women in marine scientific research;  Marie Bourrel-McKinnon, ISA


Presentation |  Building synergies and opportunities through the UN Decade of Ocean Science to enhance the capacity
development programmes and initiatives of ISA ;  Cesar Toro, Head of IOCARIBE Secretariat

Presentation |  The Future of capacity development and technology transfer to meet the needs of developing States,
members of ISA ;  Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General, ISA



Nominations are now open to delegates from members of ISA, in particular from developing States, as well as observers, contractors, competent international and regional organizations, and relevant academic institutions and scientific groups with interest in the scope of the workshop.

Pursuant to the objectives of the workshop, nominated experts are expected to be senior government officials responsible for or closely associated with the work of ISA or officials of organizations who have been involved with capacity-building activities of ISA or in capacity building related to activities in the Area.

The number of participants will be limited to 60 to enable the workshop participants to effectively engage and discuss - in small groups - the outcomes of the assessment currently undertaken by the Secretariat, relating to the main capacity-building programmes and initiatives implemented by ISA. The selection of experts by the Secretariat, in collaboration with the Advisory Committee 1 , will be based on expertise and experience, taking into account balanced geographic and gender representation with particular attention given to the participation of geographically disadvantaged States, small island developing States (SIDS), least developed countries (LDCs) and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), pursuant to categorization outlined in the (High Level Action 5.1.1.)

Due to the limited capacity, one representative by member State, observer, contractor or competent international/regional organizations will be considered. The selection of workshop participants will be undertaken on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Representatives of developing States, members of ISA (with particular attention given to SIDS, LDCs, and LLDCs); or

2. Officials of organizations who have been involved with capacity-building activities implemented by ISA or in capacity-building activities related to activities in the Area.

In addition, consideration will be given in the selection to the nominees’ knowledge of the role and mandate of ISA and the capacity-building activities implemented by ISA, and their experience in resource mobilization for capacity-building programmes. Nominations should include the name and full contact details of nominee(s) and should be submitted via an official letter addressed to Mrs Marie Bourrel-McKinnon, Senior Policy Officer-Special Assistant to the Secretary-General.

All nominations must be accompanied by curriculum vitae clearly indicating the areas of expertise and experience of the nominee, relating to the above-noted selection criteria. Nominations should be sent as soon as possible, but no later than 16 January 2020, via e-mail to copy to Mr Ryan Barbar ( The results of the selection will be made available on the ISA website in due course, and not later than 30 January 2020. Meeting documents will also be posted on the ISA website as planning progresses.


1 The Advisory Committee has been established by the ISA Secretary-General to assist the Secretariat in the preparation of the workshop and is comprised of individuals representing the main interested regional groups concerned (African Group, GRULAC, Asia-Pacific Group) as well as development partners, representatives of the Training group of the Legal and Technical Commission, international organizations and contractors. The list of the members of this Advisory Committee can be accessed here:

Comments, queries:

Email: Mrs Marie Bourrel-McKinnon, Senior Policy Officer – Special Assistant to the Secretary-General (

Monday, February 10, 2020 to Saturday, December 12, 2020
Kingston, Jamaica