On Thursday, the Council of the International Seabed Authority convened for the third day of the first part of its 26th session (ISA-26) in Kingston, Jamaica. Delegates discussed issues relating to the election of members of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC), adopting a decision to work intersessionally on a resolution of the issue, for a final decision on the LTC elections to be taken at the second part of ISA-26. They also engaged in informal consultations on the working method to address the draft exploitation regulations, facilitated by Kenneth Wong (Canada), agreeing to consider a decision on this matter on Friday, 21 February.
Delegates also considered a draft decision on a standardized approach for the development, approval, and review of regional environmental management plans (REMPs) in the Area, agreeing to finalize the decision on the last day of the meeting.
Thursday was a procedure-heavy day, with delegates working in informal groups and discussing sticking points in huddles around the conference center. Highlights of the day included:
- the conclusion of informal discussions related to the working method to address the draft exploitation regulations;
- the circulation of a draft decision related to REMPs;
- agreement on the way forward on issues related to the election of members of the LTC;
- an informal plenary session on draft exploitation regulations related to the protection and preservation of the marine environment.
At lunch, a side event was organized by the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative addressing the importance of biological diversity to deep seabed mining management.