On 7 July 2023, the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) and the Finance Committee (FC) of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) closed their meetings under the second part of the 28th session of ISA in Kingston, Jamaica.

The LTC met between 28 June and 7 July 2023. ISA Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, welcomed new members attending the meetings for the first time.

During its meetings, the LTC focused on reviewing the 30 annual reports submitted by ISA exploration contractors to inform on the progress of their exploration activities carried out against their approved plans of work for exploration, as required under the exploration regulations.

The LTC finalized the terms of reference for an intersessional expert group to support the development of binding environmental threshold values, as requested by the Council of ISA at its 27th session (ISBA/27/C/CRP.5/Rev.1). A call for nominations will be open from July to September 2023.

The LTC also took stock of the status of the standardized approach for the development, approval, and review of regional environmental management plans for the Area. The LTC devised an intersessional work plan for its dedicated working group with a view to presenting a revised draft for review by the LTC at its next meeting in 2024.

The LTC endorsed the directions and priorities set out in the ISA draft data management strategy for 2023-2028 and the associated roadmap to leverage data to support the implementation of the ISA Action Plan for Marine Scientific Research.

Finally, the LTC reviewed the Recommendations for the guidance of contractors for the assessment of the possible environmental impacts arising from exploration for marine minerals in the Area and revised the wording of paragraph 41(e) of ISBA/25/LTC/6/Rev.2 as requested by the Council.

The FC met between 5 and 7 July 2023. It elected Md Rear Admiral Khurshed Alam (Bangladesh) as Chair and Mr. Kenneth Wong (Canada) as Vice-Chair for the 28th session. During its meetings, the FC reviewed and discussed general financial and budgetary matters, including the implementation of the budget of ISA for the financial period 2021-2022, the status of the working capital fund, the status of the contributions and the audit report on the accounts of ISA.

The FC further considered and endorsed the supplementary budget for the period 2023-2024 to cover the costs associated with the establishment of the position of Interim Director General of the Enterprise as requested by the Council during the first part of its 28th session (ISBA/28/C/10).

The FC resumed its discussions on the equitable sharing of financial and other economic benefits derived from activities in the Area, including the possible establishment of a seabed sustainability fund as an alternative to direct distribution to Member States. The FC identified the potential objectives of such a global fund, which they proposed to call the “Common Heritage Fund.” The FC agreed to continue developing the concept for the fund to provide a full report to the Assembly of ISA in due course.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Stefanie Neno, Communications Specialist, ISA, sneno@isa.org.jm