ISA side event at UNOC2022 | Global launch of SSKI: Advancing scientific understanding of deep-sea ecosystems in the Area for the benefit of all humanity

29 Jun 2022

2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
Altice Arena, Side Event Room 2Event ID: IBZW2911
ISA and UNOC logos
SSKI event image
SKKI side event partners new



With the progress of negotiations on the International Seabed Authority (ISA)’s mining code and on the legally binding instrument for biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), the demands for enhanced understanding of deep-sea ecosystems and its uptake in various global ocean processes has been growing. As a model example of concerted global efforts to increase the availability and accessibility of scientific information on deep-sea ecosystems, the Sustainable Seabed Knowledge Initiative (SSKI)  implemented by ISA will serve as a catalyst to generate, assess, and disseminate new deep-sea biodiversity information to inform decision-making processes and ensure effective protection of the marine environment in the international seabed area (the Area). To fulfill its objectives, SSKI will rely on the establishment of an interdisciplinary network of experts and key stakeholders, including Member States, the scientific community, competent international organizations and the industry (ISA contractors in particular).


This side event will serve to formally launch SSKI and raise the strategic visibility of the international community’s collective efforts, through ISA, in support of advancing marine scientific research in line with the strategic research priorities identified by ISA Members in the ISA Action Plan in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science  adopted in 2020. The event will focus on scaling up efforts towards enhancing deep-sea biodiversity   assessments, tools, and capacity, for effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.


2:30 – 2:45 PM


Opening Remarks

  • H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General, International Seabed Authority
  • Mr. Thembile Joyini, Vice-Chair of the ISA Legal and Technical Commission, South Africa
2:45 – 3:05 PM  Session 1: Global launch of the Sustainable Seabed Knowledge Initiative (SSKI)

  • Introductory video on SSKI
  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Holger Martinsen, Ambassador and Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, Argentine Republic
  • Statement by Mr. Raphael Goulet, Head of Unit – Ocean Governance, Law of the Sea, Arctic Policy, European Commission
  • Statement by Dr. Wan-hyun Choi, President, National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea (MABIK), Republic of Korea
3:05 – 3:30 PM Session 2: Scaling up actions to advance deep-sea biodiversity knowledge and capacity for sustainable management of activities in the Area

Strategic partnerships for transformative actions

  • Statement by Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Statement by Dr. Pierre Marie Sarradin, Head of the Deep-sea ecosystem study Research Unit, Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (Ifremer), France

Generating and sharing knowledge

  • Mr. Ward Appeltans, Project Manager, Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) – IOC/UNESCO
  • Dr. Ann-Katrien Lescrauwaet, Director of International Relations, The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)/World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)
3:30 – 3:40 PM Open forum: Enhancing science-policy interface for sustainable management of activities in the Area

Participants are invited to share their insights and perspectives on enhancing deep-sea biodiversity knowledge and capacity for sustainable management of activities in the international seabed area based on the following guiding questions:

  1. What are the key priority needs and opportunities for scaling up efforts to promote deep-sea biodiversity research and capacity-building activities, thereby contributing to sustainable management of activities in the international seabed area?
  2. What are examples of effective collaboration to advance deep-sea biodiversity knowledge, which can contribute to the integration of the knowledge into global ocean policy and support the achievement of SDG 14?
3:40 – 3:45 PM Summary and way forward

  • H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General, International Seabed Authority