JAMAICA, Kingston (17 March 2017) - - Secretary-General Michael Lodge attended two meetings recently in Tokyo, Japan. He was keynote speaker at the EcoDeep - SIP Workshop (14-15 March) and speaker at the Ocean Mining Industry Promotion Round Table Meeting (15 March).
He spoke about the activities of the International Seabed Authority; its mandate for regulating and managing deep seabed mining; the current status of exploration activities, and current efforts relating to environmental regulation of activities in the Area.
"As an intergovernmental organization, established by treaty, the decision making mechanisms within the Authority are necessarily complex and can appear somewhat intimidating for industry to deal with. The key point to note is that the system is designed to operate as far as possible by consensus."
"In putting the deep seabed under international management, one of the most important achievements of the Convention was to establish a regime for pioneer investors, including Deep Ocean Resources Development Co. Ltd., (DORD) of Japan."
"The next major task for the Authority is to develop a legal framework for exploitation of seabed minerals."
"The industry is at a critical stage of development and it is important that we are able to produce a draft Mining Code that is commercially realistic, provides for effective environmental protection and contains transparent financial provisions. The Code will constitute a key step in contributing to fulfill the objective and purpose of the Convention, that is to promote the economic and social advancement of all peoples of the world."
On 16 March, Secretary-General Lodge paid a courtesy call to Japan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr.Nobuo Kishi. Mr Lodge expressed appreciation of Japan’s contribution to its activities and its role in administering the mineral resources in the deep seabed.
Also on 16 March, Secretary-General Lodge signed a five-year extension agreement of the exploration contract for polymetallic nodules with DORD President Mr Kazuaki Shimada.
Mr Lodge was accompanied on the Japan trip by the Deputy to the Secretary-General and Legal Counsel Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera and Director of the Office of Environmental Management and Mineral Resources, Dr Sandor Mulsow.
Secretary-General Lodge at the Ocean Mining Industry Promotion Round Table Meeting
Secretary-General Lodge with Deep Ocean Resources Development Co., Ltd (DORD), President Mr Kazuaki Shimada