JAMAICA, Kingston (27 November 2017) – –  The International Seabed Authority and l’Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER ) have signed an Agreement on the extension of the exploration contract for polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone. 
IFREMER entered into a 15-year contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules with the Authority on 19 June 2001. On 16 December 2015, IFREMER applied for a five-year extension pursuant to section 1, paragraph 9, of the annex to the Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 and the applicable procedures and criteria for contract extensions.
The Agreement was signed by Secretary-General Michael Lodge and François Jacq, the President-Managing Director of IFREMER in Issy-Les-Moulineaux on the 27 November 2017.
In his statement at the signing of the Agreement, Secretary-General Lodge said he has personally witnessed the enormous contribution made by the French Government in mineral resources exploration, in scientific research baseline studies and environmental monitoring over the last 15 years.
He highlighted that IFREMER has played a key role supporting training and professional development of scientists from developing countries and added that France, through IFREMER, plays a model role in international cooperation for deep sea exploration.
“Building a new generation of partnerships for marine scientific research is also essential.  And the leadership and experience of IFREMER to understand better deep-sea ecosystems will be extremely valuable.”
Mr Lodge also expressed his  appreciation to the French Government and IFREMER, for their support and cooperation including IFREMER’s recent contribution to the Endowment Fund of the Authority which aims to promote collaborative marine scientific research in the Area for the benefit of mankind.