Kingston, Jamaica – 24 June 2024 — The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has successfully inaugurated the ISA-Capacity Development Alumni Network (iCAN), marking a significant advancement in its efforts to enhance capacity-building and facilitate the transfer of technology and scientific knowledge to developing States. The iCAN aligns with ISA’s obligations under Article 144 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement, as well as its Strategic Plan and the ISA Capacity Development Strategy.


The network’s first general meeting, titled “iCAN Meets,” provided an invaluable platform for the ISA Secretariat to engage with former capacity development participants by fostering connections between alumni and key ISA partners and stakeholders. Attendees gained insights into the latest industry developments, including current technologies and in-demand skill sets within the deep-sea research and exploration sector.


iCAN currently comprises 80 members from 35 different countries, representing all five regional groups and 36 per cent women among its members. The iCAN was established following a 2020 review of ISA’s capacity-building programmes, aiming to develop human resources, monitor the impact of training and enable collaboration among alumni. It was one of the key priority areas identified under the Capacity Development Strategy adopted by the Assembly in 2022.


In her closing remarks, Marie Bourrel-McKinnon, ISA Chief of Staff and Head of the Strategic Planning Unit, emphasized iCAN’s role in supporting the capacity development needs of States and individuals, stating, “With the active and full participation of the alumni in this initiative, iCAN can serve as an effective vehicle towards the fulfilment of the objectives of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement.”


“The Secretariat remains entirely mobilized to leverage the resources available to empower this new generation of leaders and create enabling conditions allowing them to shine and express their talents in all these new areas of work and emerging disciplines,” she added.


iCAN members benefit from extensive networking opportunities, access to ISA library resources, participation in various alumni activities and the chance to contribute to ISA’s work during international events. They also receive complimentary access to the ISA Deep Dive course modules and are included in the future talent pool of experts.


Eligibility for iCAN membership requires completion of an ISA training programme, willingness to contribute to ISA activities and submission of the necessary application forms. Former trainees must also provide a report assessing the long-term benefits of their training.


As the talented and dynamic network grows, it is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the future of deep-seabed exploration and sustainable resource management.


About ISA


The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous intergovernmental organization mandated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to manage the mineral resources of the seabed beyond national jurisdiction for the shared benefit of humankind. ISA is committed to the principle that all economic activities in the deep seabed, including deep-seabed mining, must be regulated and responsibly managed using the best available scientific evidence for the benefit of all nations of the world. ISA works to ensure that the voices of all States, including developing States and other stakeholders, are effectively heard in discussions around the sustainable development of the deep seabed.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Mr. Philip Janikowski, Communications Specialist, ISA,


For more information, visit our website,, or follow us on Twitter @ISBAHQ.