JAMAICA, Kingston (31 May 2018) – – “As one of the institutions created by the Law of the Sea Convention, the International Seabed Authority has a critical role to play in international ocean governance.“

Speaking at the Sixth International Symposium on Scientific and Legal Aspects of the Regimes of the Continental Shelf and the Area in Wuzhen, China, Secretary-General Lodge underscored that as one of the institutions created by the Law of the Sea Convention, the Authority has a critical role to play in international ocean governance.

“The concept that the deep seabed and its resources are the common heritage of mankind underpins the legal regime for the management of all marine space.  What is not under the exclusive jurisdiction of States is managed by all States through the Authority, based on principles of equality and equity in access to and allocation of resources, and with a view to promoting the economic and social advancement of all peoples of the world.”

He also highlighted three major developments currently occupying the Authority. These were: (a) Article 154 Periodic Review and Strategic Plan, (b) Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) and (c) the Draft Mining Code.

With respect to the Strategic Plan, he mentioned that a first draft of the five-year 2019-2023 strategic plan was presented in February 2018 and opened for consultation in March whereby 23 submissions were received. Following the consultation process the revised draft strategic plan will be made available for consideration by the Assembly at its 24th Session in July 2018.

Following the development of the first EMP for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone in the 2012, the Authority is working with partners to explore the development of REMPs for polymetallic sulphides in mid-ocean ridges, and for cobalt crusts in the north-west Pacific Ocean where exploration contracts exist.  In the long-term, REMPs are envisaged as the primary vehicle for delivery at the regional level of the Authority’s environmental objectives. 

For the draft Mining Code, Secretary-General Lodge emphasized that the two main features of the work had been collaboration and transparency. He said the Council had its first substantive discussion on the draft mining code in March 2018 followed by meetings of the Legal and Technical Commission. The result is the revised text of the draft regulations that will be issued in all official working languages.

The 6th International Symposium  is a forum for discussions on the regimes of the continental shelf and the Area and was widely attended by well-known experts and scholars. It was held from 30 -31 May 2018, in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, China. 

Full Statement


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