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JAMAICA, Kingston (17 July 2018) – – The China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA) and the International Seabed Authority (ISA), today, co-hosted a side event on the First Steps in Developing and Implementing Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) in the North Pacific and North Atlantic.

COMRA officials, Mr Feng Liu, Mr Xue-Wei Xu and Professor Shaojun Liu presented the outcomes of the REMP workshop held in Qingdao, China in May 2018, which proposed that REMPs should include as guiding notions: the common heritage of mankind; a precautionary approach; protection and preservation of the marine environment; prior environmental impact assessment; conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; transparency; use of best available scientific information, best available techniques and best environmental practice; and area based management tools.

In the presentation on the outcomes of the REMP workshop held in Szczecin, Poland in June 2018, ISA’s Dr Sandor Mulsow said suggestions for the next steps forward include the sharing of available environmental data and understanding the national, regional and international policies and laws; finding a consensus on the design of the REMP as well as the preliminary ideas for its framework; creating a work plan for 2-3 years of scientific collaboration to collect additional data needed for the design of the REMP; and discussing mechanisms for communication and coordination.

Participants to both workshops included stakeholders, NGOs, member States, members of the scientific community, international and national universities, institutes and members of the Legal and Technical Commission. 

REMP workshops have been planned to take place in Hong Kong, South Africa, Mauritius for mid-ocean ridges as well as a second workshop in China for REMPs for cobalt rich ferromanganese crusts. 

Opening remarks at the side event were given by Mr Xinmin Ma, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China and Mr Michael Lodge, Secretary-General of the ISA.

Mr Xinmin Ma, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China

Mr Michael Lodge, ISA Secretary-General

Mr Feng Liu, Secretary-General, COMRA

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