JAMAICA, Kingston (February 16, 2015)  –  The Legal & Technical Commission (LTC) of the International Seabed Authority commenced its first 2-week session of meetings in Kingston today.

The LTC will review reports on the status of contracts for exploration and the implementation of the training programmes; consider applications for approvals of plans of work for exploration in the Area; review the status of the implementation of the environmental management plan for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone; review the outcomes and recommendations of the 2014 Authority’s workshops on polymetallic nodules resource classification (India, October 2014) and the standardization of macrofaunal taxonomy (Korea,  November 2014), and continue work on draft regulations for exploitation.

The Commission is also expected to select qualified candidates for training opportunities provided by China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA).

The LTC February meeting from 16-27 February is the first of the Commission’s annual meetings. The second will be held during the Authority’s twenty-first annual session later in July this year.

The Commission is an organ of the Council of the International Seabed Authority and currently consists of 25 members who are elected by the Council for a period of 5 years on the basis of personal qualifications relevant to the exploration, exploitation and processing of mineral resources, oceanography, economic and/or legal matters relating to ocean mining and related fields. It is entrusted with various functions relating to activities in the deep seabed area including the review of applications for plans of work, supervision of exploration or mining activities, assessment of the environmental impact of such activities and provide advice to the International Seabed Authority’s Assembly and Council on all matters relating to exploration and exploitation of non-living marine resources (such as polymetallic [manganese] nodules, polymetallic sulphides and cobalt crusts).