15 October 2021 – Kingston, Jamaica and Jakarta, Indonesia. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia successfully held a virtual national capacity building workshop to review the environmental components of the legal framework governing activities carried out in the Area.

Indonesia is currently in the process of drafting its national legislation related to activities conducted in the Area. Building on a first workshop requested by the Government of Indonesia and held in January 2021 to build capacities of national experts in relation to the different aspects pertaining to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the regime of the Area, this second workshop was designed to provide participants, especially members of the drafting committee, with all relevant information on the environmental components of this regime to ensure that Indonesia’s national framework reflects relevant international legal provisions and requirements.

Opening the workshop, Dr. Damos Dumoli Agusman, Director-General of Legal Affairs and International Treaties, Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia, underscored the importance of ensuring that activities in the Area are not  carried to the detriment of futures generations. “The regulations will reflect Indonesia’s commitment, as (future) sponsoring State, (…) to fully implement the law of the sea and set up a sound legal framework for entities sponsored by Indonesia planning to undertake activities in the Area.”

This second workshop was the opportunity for participants to discuss in depth the implementation of the precautionary approach, baseline environmental data and monitoring, as well as review critical principles pertaining to the legal regime for the protection and preservation of the environment. Participants also discussed common elements found across national legislations and progress made in the development of regional environmental management plans.

In his opening remarks, ISA’s Secretary-General, H.E. Michael W. Lodge, commended Indonesia for taking a “wise approach of national consultation” for the development of its legislation, combined with “rigorous investigation and consideration of all expert views”.  

Secretary-General Lodge further emphasized the central obligation to protect  the marine environment for ISA and for all sponsoring States. “More than that, it is the responsibility of all States. (…) In other words, we all have a shared responsibility and interest in the protection of the marine environment.”

“I hope today’s webinar will help to shed some light on how ISA approaches its responsibilities, the role of member States, and how the provisions of UNCLOS ensure effective environmental protection,” he added.

This initiative to assist Indonesia as the country develops its national legislation for deep-seabed activities in the Area contributes to fulfilling ISA’s Strategic Plan and High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2023, in particular in relation to Strategic Directions 5 “Build capacity for developing State” and 6 “Ensure fully integrated participation by developing States”.