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On 19 August 2021, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the Sub commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions of the International Oceanic Commission of UNESCO (IOCARIBE) successfully hosted the “Co-design workshop on Capacity Development: 1. The Deep Sea".
The online workshop was convened in the context of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and builds on ISA’s Action Plan in support of the Decade as well as on its programmatic approach to capacity development.
About 135 participants, mostly from the Caribbean region, including 26 panelists from the ISA Secretariat, former ISA trainees, national institutions and international organizations and initiatives, attended the workshop, which focused on the co-designing of deep-sea research programmes in the Western Tropical Atlantic and Eastern Tropical Pacific regions.
During the workshop, Ms. Jihyun Lee, Director of the Office of Environmental Management and Mineral Resources of ISA, underscored the significant contribution that ISA’s work on marine scientific research (MSR), in particular through the ISA DeepData database – a unique repository of data and information gathered by contractors from their exploration activities over the past several decades - can bring to the implementation of various national and regional initiatives for deep-sea research. She also highlighted the diverse capacity-building opportunities offered by ISA to nationals from developing members States.
By stimulating innovative ocean research, the UN Decade of Ocean Science seeks to ensure that ocean science brings long-lasting impacts, offers opportunities for robust capacity development and ultimately improves people’s lives. Maximizing synergies within existing strategic frameworks and strategies adopted by competent intergovernmental organizations such as ISA, is key to effectively contribute to the achievement of respective mandates and meet the objectives set out in the 2030 Agenda.
Ms. Lee stressed that consolidated efforts are needed to “co-align”, “co-operate” and “co-implement” deep-sea research initiatives in the region. ISA’s Action Plan in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science provides a possible framework for such efforts. Indeed, the Plan already benefits from the legal and institutional framework provided by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, from the ISA Endowment Fund for Marine Scientific Research (MSR), from DeepData and from various existing collaborative initiatives on MSR and capacity-building, implemented with ISA members, contractors and scientific institutions.