ISA side event at UNOC2022 | Ensuring the stewardship of seabed mineral resources and the protection of the marine environment of the Area for the benefit of humankind

29 Jun 2022 - 29 Jun 2022

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM
Altice Arena, Interactive Dialogue RoomEvent ID: IBZW298
ISA and UNOC logos
stewardship header
Partners stewardship event



The seabed and subsoil beyond the limits of national jurisdiction (the Area) and its mineral resources are designated as the “common heritage of mankind” under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which mandates the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to organize, regulate and control, on behalf of State Parties, all mineral-related activities. In so doing, ISA has the duty to (i) ensure that activities in the Area are carried out for the benefit of humankind as a whole; (ii) ensure effective protection of the marine environment and of human life with respect to activities in the Area; (iii) promote and encourage the conduct of marine scientific research in the Area; and (iv) promote the effective participation of developing States in activities in the Area, in particular the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).

Through implementing the economic, social and environmental mandates assigned to it by UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement, ISA is committed to timely and effective achievement of the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda. A recent independent assessment undertaken in 2021 provides evidence that ISA, through the implementation of its mandate and the Voluntary Commitments it registered at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference in New York, contributes in a meaningful way to 12 of the 17 SDGs, including SDG 14.

This event is expected to highlight the efforts engaged by the international community to establish strong partnerships in ocean matters in support of the achievement of the 2030 Agenda particularly in relation to the stewardship of seabed mineral resources and the protection of the marine environment of the Area for the benefit of humankind. Accordingly, it will provide an important platform to discuss linkages with elements discussed under Interactive Dialogue 6 (Increasing scientific knowledge and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology), Interactive Dialogue 7 (Enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) and Interactive Dialogue 8 (Leveraging interlinkages between Sustainable Development Goal 14 and other Goals towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda).


This side event will provide a distinct opportunity to highlight how multilateralism and international cooperation have successfully supported the establishment of one of the three institutions established by UNCLOS.  ISA, through its  unique and exclusive mandate, has significantly contributed during its 28 years of existence to the protection of the environment beyond national jurisdiction for the benefit of all humanity and to the enhancement of the rule of law in the oceans by developing sound and stringent regulatory frameworks based on the precautionary approach, best available science, transparency and equity in accessing the Area and its resources. It will also be an opportunity to discuss the steady efforts of the international community over the last 40 years towards a visionary common goal of ensuring the careful and sound management and the sustainable use of the Area and its resources for the benefit of humankind.

The panels will be able to discuss the role of science in informing the decision-making processes, the precautionary approach, inclusivity and transparency in the work of ISA. They will also highlight the existing interlinkages between SDG Goal 14 and 11 other SDGs (SDG 1 on No Poverty, SDG 4 on Quality Education, SDG 5 on Gender Equality, SDG 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9 on Innovation, Industry and Infrastructure, SDG 10 on Reduced Inequalities, SDG 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13 on Climate Action, SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and SDG 17 on Partnerships for the Goals). References will also be made to the successes of selected capacity development initiatives, such as the Abyssal Initiative for Blue Growth, which ISA has been implementing for the past four years with its partners to advance the interests and build the necessary capacity of ISA member States, towards the implementations of the SDG Goals highlighted above.


  • H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General, ISA
  • H.E. Ms. Rena Lee, Ambassador for Oceans and Law of the Sea Issues, Singapore
  • H.E. Mr. Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, Special Envoy for the Poles and the Ocean, France
  • Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel
1:15 – 1:35 PM Opening remarks
1:35 – 1:50 PM Strengthening the rule of law on ocean to ensure the sustainable management of the Area and its resources for the benefit of humankind

  • Hon. Fekita ‘Utoikamanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Tonga
  • Hon. Bjørnar Selnes Skjæan, Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy, Norway
  • H.E. Ms. Fatou Binetou Rassoul Correa, Ambassador of Senegal to Portugal
1:50 – 2:05 PM Advancing deep-sea research and science in ensuring the sustainable management of the Area and its resources for all humanity

  • Mr. Francois Houllier, President, Ifremer (France)
  • Dr. M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, India
  • Ms. Claire Jolly, Head of Unit, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovations, OECD
2:05 – 2:20 PM Fostering strategic partnerships to support common goals and enabling stewardship of the deep seabed and its resources for all humankind

  • Mr. Lawrence Hanson, Associate Deputy Minister, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada
  • Mr. Sturla Henriksen, Special Adviser, Ocean, UN Global Compact
  • Ms. Alex Herman, Seabed Minerals Commissioner, Cook Islands
2:20 – 2:30 PM Closing Remarks

 H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General, ISA