IISD Summary of the Twenty-fifth Annual Session of the International Seabed Authority (First Part): 25 February – 1 March 2019

IISD PRESS RELEASE |  4 March 2019

 The first part of the 25th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) began with the Council meeting, held from 25 February - 1 March 2019 in Kingston, Jamaica. It will be followed by a meeting of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) from 4-15 March 2019.

The Council addressed the draft exploitation regulations on deep-seabed mining, and deliberated on:

  • the financial model;
  • standards, guidelines, and key terms;
  • decision-making;
  • the precautionary approach;
  • regional environmental management plans (REMPs);
  • the independent assessment of environmental plans; and
  • the inspection mechanism.

The Council further considered:

  • the report on matters relating to the Enterprise, an organ foreseen in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the Authority’s own mining arm;
  • status of contracts for exploration and related matters; and
  • cooperation with other international organizations.

More than 200 participants from national governments, civil society, contractors, and academia attended the meeting. The Council made progress on the draft exploitation regulations, while recognizing the need for further work on the payment mechanism, environmental protection, and the Enterprise. Delegates agreed to extend and expand the mandate of the Special Representative for the Enterprise, establishing a voluntary trust fund to support his work.

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IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage and daily reports from the 1st Part of ISA-25. 

Photos by IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera