The Board of the Partnership Fund of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) approved five new projects for a total value of 552,500 USD during its second meeting held on 29 January 2024 to support deep-sea research, innovation and capacity development in Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. These projects represent the second batch of initiatives supported by the ISA Partnership Fund (ISAPF), following its establishment in August 2022 by the ISA Assembly.

The ISAPF, a multi-donor trust fund, was created to mobilize transformative partnerships and financial support for the implementation of the global deep-sea research agenda adopted unanimously by all ISA members in 2020 in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Action Plan for Marine Scientific Research in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development) and to contribute to dedicated capacity development programmes and activities aligned with the priority needs identified by developing States Members of ISA through the 2022 ISA Capacity Development Strategy. The Board’s decision marks a pivotal moment, with an allocation of USD 552,500 towards five ground-breaking projects:

  • Development of a data visualization platform for the Area – Awarded USD 125,000, this project aims to create an accessible platform showcasing the scale and nature of activities in the Area and enhanced understanding of scientific data collected by ISA in the Area. The Call for expression of interest to develop a data visualization Platform for the Area is available here. Deadline for applications is 12 April 2024.
  • Diplomatic Deep-sea Academy for Africa – Building on the Memorandum of Understanding between ISA and the International Relation Institute of Cameroon adopted by the Assembly, this initiative seeks to develop a dedicated curriculum on the Law of the Sea, with specific reference to the regime of the Area, for African diplomats, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective participation in deep-sea governance.
  • Enhancing and leveraging the knowledge of African experts in deep-sea research through the establishment of the ISA-Egypt Joint Training and Research Centre – Receiving USD 100,000, this project will support a series of tailored activities to build capacity of African researchers and to support deep-sea literacy in the context of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between ISA and the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries of Egypt.
  • Promoting deep-sea research in the Indian Ocean – Allocated USD 52,500, this project focuses on increasing institutional capacities of the Member States of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, particularly LDCs and SIDS in matters related to deep-seabed and Law of the Sea and supporting women leadership in deep-sea related activities for qualified women scientists from IORA Members.
  • Advancing the Caribbean blue economy through the Centre for Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy – This initiative, funded with USD 100,000, is dedicated to mapping the immediate capacity needs of Caribbean countries in the field of marine scientific research in the Area and to developing a curriculum in advancing deep-sea research in the Caribbean region.

All these projects underscore ISA’s commitment to promoting sustainable management of deep-sea resources, supporting marine scientific research and the economic development of Member States and to empowering women leadership in marine scientific research.

At its second meeting, the ISAPF Board also decided to open a special Call for project proposals to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of ISA to be celebrated throughout 2024.  The Board encourages stakeholders to submit their project proposals for one of three categories of projects (20,000 USD; 50,000 USD: 100,000 USD) on one of these topics:

(1) Regulation and management of mineral-related activities in the Area;

(2) Marine scientific research in the Area;

(3) Protection of the marine environment in the Area;

(4) Equitable sharing of benefits derived from activities in the Area;

(5) Contribution of ISA to the empowerment of women, especially from LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs, in ocean affairs including ocean governance and deep-sea research

Applicants can submit their proposals no later than 30 April 2024 in accordance with the instruction available in the Call.

More information is available at


About ISA

ISA is an autonomous international organization mandated by the UNCLOS to protect the seabed for the shared benefit of humankind. ISA is committed to the principle that all nations of the world should benefit from responsible, sustainable and regulated economic activities in the deep seabed, including deep seabed mining and from the potential resources the deep seabed holds for a global green transition. The ISA works to ensure that the voices of all states and stakeholders, including developing states, civil society organizations and all ISA Member States, are effectively heard in discussions around the sustainable development of the deep seabed.


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Ms. Jaimie Abbott, Communications Specialist, ISA,