JAMAICA, Kingston (14 November 2017) - - The International Seabed Authority has engaged with the Pew Seabed Mining Project in several areas including partnerships in relation to workshops in environmental matters held in Berlin and a workshop in Uganda earlier this year – the first to be held in a landlocked developing country.
Speaking at Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, on Tuesday 13 November 2017, ISA Secretary-General Michael Lodge paid tribute to the very constructive engagement between Pew and the Authority.
He recalled that the Authority represents a unique experiment in international relations and that for many States, it fulfills a long held vision that the mineral wealth of the deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction should not be appropriated by a few technologically advanced countries but shared between all countries including landlocked and disadvantaged countries as the common heritage of mankind.
“The task of the Authority is to deliver on this vision and to make sure that it is done in the most responsible and sustainable way possible."
Mr Lodge also highlighted two major challenges for the Authority as being :
- Putting in place a workable regulatory framework that incentivizes contractors to commit significant investment and resources to develop exploitation projects while also addressing concerns of State Parties to the Convention, as well as other stakeholders, including environmental groups; and
- The second major challenge was environmental planning at the regional scale. Beyond the Clarion Clipperton Zone environmental management plan, the urgent need to develop regional plans in mineral provinces where exploration activities are taking place was recognized by both the ISA Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations. Key areas that have been identified include the Mid-Atlantic Ocean ridge, the Indian Ocean triple junction ridge and the Northwest Pacific.
Mr Lodge said he believed that the ISA had a unique opportunity to provide the best available political platform to establish a comprehensive framework for environmental management and hoped that others would find this vision equally compelling and join the ISA in this enterprise.
(c) Photo by @SargassoSeaCommission