On 26 May 2023, the Secretariat of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) hosted the third ceremony to present the end-of-training certificates to nationals from developing States who benefitted from opportunities provided by ISA exploration contractors under the Contractors’ Training Programme between July and December 2022.
The ceremony highlighted the successful completion of training by 25 trainees from 18 developing States, including 11 women, who benefitted from placements provided by seven exploration contractors. Among the 25 trainees, seven were nationals from least developed countries, landlocked developing countries or small island developing States, which have been identified as a priority by ISA in terms of capacity development.
In his welcome remarks, the Secretary-General of ISA, H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, underscored the importance of the Contractors’ Training Programme as one of the main vehicles through which least developed countries, landlocked developing countries or small island developing States can receive tangible benefits from exploration activities carried out in the Area.
“I congratulate all those trainees who have successfully completed their training programmes. I also thank all the contractors who have gone to great lengths to provide relevant, focused and high-quality training that meets the objectives of the Contractors’ Training Programme. It is truly inspiring to hear from the trainees themselves how the training provided has benefited them individually and also how the Contractors’ Training Programme is contributing to the development of a global network of experts for the future,” he said.
China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association provided four online theoretical training placements between April and July 2022. The Government of the Republic of Poland provided two at-sea placements from August to September 2022 and two internships on polymetallic nodules project management between September and October 2022. Global Sea Mineral Resources NV provided a fellowship for a master’s degree in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management in 2021-2022. Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer provided six internships between October and December 2022. Interoceanmetal Joint Organization provided seven internships on polymetallic nodules project management between September and October 2022. Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. provided one at-sea placement in engineering between September and November 2022. Tonga Offshore Mining Ltd. provided two at-sea placements between July and November 2022.
Training and capacity-building have been integral features of the activities of ISA since its establishment in 1994. This responsibility is also recognized in the Strategic Plan and High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2023 under Strategic directions 5 (Build capacity for developing States) and 6 (Ensure integrated participation by developing States). All ISA contractors have a legal obligation to provide and fund training opportunities for personnel from developing States and those of ISA. More than 300 opportunities have been made available under the Contractors’ Training Programme since 2013.
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