On Wednesday, the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) continued its deliberations, addressing cooperation with other relevant international organizations and further focusing on components of the draft regulations for exploitation of mineral resources in the Area, including:
- independent review of environmental plans and performance assessments; and
- an inspection mechanism.
Highlights of the day include:
- an in-depth discussion on independent reviews of environmental plans, offering concrete organizational ideas and ways to avoid potential conflicts of interest;
- general agreement for a transparent, geographically-balanced, and cost-effective way to conduct the reviews;
- exchange of ideas on the social necessity of deep sea mining to allow the transition towards a carbon-free, circular economy; and
- announcement of the second edition of the Secretary-General’s Award for Excellence in Deep Sea Research, accompanied by a financial reward of USD 25,000, offered by the Principality of Monaco.
Two side events took place during the day. At lunchtime, Pew Charitable Trusts held an event on new data and insights from the Clarion-Clipperton Zone; during the afternoon, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition organized a discussion on the role and purpose of environmental impact assessments.