On 5 May 2023, the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, and the President of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza, formally launched a new partnership on the occasion of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Italian CNR in Venice, Italy.

The partnership was formalized by signing a letter of cooperation. ISA Secretariat and the CNR agreed to collaborate to develop dedicated activities to advance marine scientific research in the Area and conduct research and studies to reinforce the science-policy interface on critical topics. An important part of this new partnership also pertains to the future conception and implementation of tailored capacity-building initiatives on deep-sea-related matters, such as exploration, environmental management planning and technology transfer, including through ad hoc training opportunities onboard the new CNR research vessel Gaia Blu. Particular emphasis will also be placed on developing new education tools for deep-sea literacy and strengthening the work of ISA and the CNR in further advancing women’s empowerment and leadership in deep-sea research.

These activities will contribute to implementing the strategic priorities as set out in the ISA Strategic Plan and High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2023, and the Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. They will also become a stepping stone toward the effective implementation of ISA’s Capacity Development Strategy.

Secretary-General Lodge congratulated the CNR on its anniversary and track record of pioneering scientific research on mid-ocean ridges, ocean core complexes, fracture zones and transform faults. Underscoring the importance of collective contribution to the advancement of scientific research in the Area, Mr. Lodge called for strengthened cooperation and synergies. “There is a need for international cooperation, especially where questions are simply too big for one agency or institution to answer. Our collective focus needs to be on creating synergies and allocating those resources where they are most needed, as reflected in relevant international frameworks and strategies, such as ISA’s Action Plan for marine scientific research to support the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science,” he said.

Mr. Lodge also stressed the important responsibility assigned to ISA to strengthen the research capacities of developing and technologically less-advanced States to ensure their effective participation in deep-sea exploration and research programmes.

“Global ocean science must be inclusive and equitable. It is in the interests of science to ensure that experts from developing States be associated with and progressively equipped to lead and inform their national institutions,” Mr. Lodge concluded.

Prof. Carrozza noted thatthe signing of the letter of cooperation between ISA and the CNR marks the long, enduring support that the CNR research scientists have provided to the work of ISA and the shared understanding of the role of deep-sea research as one of the main drivers for the sustainable blue economy and the protection of the marine environment.”

Activities foreseen under the new collaboration include the conduct of joint research and studies on deep-sea-related topics, capacity-building initiatives on deep-sea-related matters, such as exploration, environmental management planning, technology transfer and tailored activities to support women’s empowerment in deep-sea research, particularly women scientists from least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States.


Note to editors

About the Italian CNR

The Italian CNR was founded in 1923 and is Italy’s largest public research organization. It is supervised by the Ministry for Universities and Research. Its task is to carry out, promote and enhance research in the main sectors of knowledge, pursuing the integration of disciplines and technologies, transferring and applying the results for the scientific, cultural, technological, economic and social development of the country, and providing technical-scientific support to constitutional bodies and public administrations.

About ISA

ISA is an autonomous international organization mandated by United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to protect the seabed for the shared benefit of humankind. ISA is committed to the principle that all nations of the world should be able to benefit from responsible, sustainable and regulated economic activities in the deep seabed and the potential resources it holds for a global green energy transition. ISA works to ensure that the voices of all States and stakeholders, including developing States, civil society organizations and all ISA Member States, are effectively heard during discussions on the sustainable development of the deep seabed.


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