Today the International Seabed Authority (ISA) opened its international workshop on the development of a Regional Environmental Management Plan (REMP) for the Area of the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge with a focus on polymetallic sulphides (PMS) deposits.

Building on the discussions held amongst experts at the workshops organized respectively in Szczecin (Poland) in 2018, and Évora (Portugal) in 2019, this virtual workshop has been designed to progress in the identification of potential management approaches and measures in support of the development of a REMP for the Area in the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Gathering more than 40 international experts, the workshop will also provide a platform to discuss the framework through which such measures would be implemented with a focus on priority actions for future monitoring, research and capacity development.

The workshop is organized by ISA in collaboration with the Atlantic REMP Project sponsored by the European Union, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, and the All-Russia Scientific Research Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the Ocean (VNIIOkeangeologia).

In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General of ISA, Mr Michael W. Lodge, emphasized ISA’s commitment to implement a successful regional environmental management plan in the Area.

“In 2018, the Council endorsed a strategy for the development of REMPs and agreed on two key principles to guide the future work. First, all REMPs should be developed under the auspices of the Authority.  Second, REMPs should be developed in priority areas before exploitation starts. This includes the Area of the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where we have three contracts for exploration for polymetallic sulphide deposits,” said Mr. Lodge.

Addressing the workshop participants, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Jamaica, Mr Vladimir Vinokurov, underscored the importance of this workshop as a means to “give a new impetus for international cooperation on the noble work of effective development of the mineral resources in the global ocean.”

Mr. Felix Leinemann, Head of Unit at the DG MARE of the European Commission also emphasized the importance of the event and stressed that it was “an important step towards an  ISA environmental policy framework which is robust, in line with international commitments, and containing strong and enforceable environmental standards, including prior environmental impact assessments.”

Once finalized, the workshop report will be presented to the next meeting of the Legal and Technical Commission for its consideration.

For enquiries:

Ms. Dana Schiopu, Communications Specialist, ISA


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