The workshop on the ‘Development of a Regional Environmental Management Plan for the Area of the Northwest Pacific,’ organized by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea (MOF) and the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), opened today via a virtual platform.
The two-week workshop to be held remotely from 26 October to 6 November 2020, will bring together over 40 experts in multiple scientific disciplines, including geology, oceanography and biological sciences to review and synthesize scientific information that would underpin the application of areabased management tools and the assessment of cumulative impacts from future exploitation activities at a regional scale.
To date, ISA has issued four contracts for the exploration of cobalt-rich crusts in the Area of the Northwest Pacific region, and a new contract for the exploration of polymetallic nodules was signed in 2019. This makes this region unique and the Regional Environmental Management Plan (REMP) that will be developed will need to take into consideration the specificities attached to these two different mineral resources.
In his welcome remarks, ISA Secretary-General Mr. Michael W. Lodge, underlined the importance of the workshop in progressing the implementation of ISA’s mandate under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment.
“A great deal of progress has been made since the first REMP workshop for the Area of the Northwest Pacific in 2018, particularly to ensure that this process is supported by strong scientific evidence and reflects inputs received from all stakeholders including ISA members, observers, contractors, and the scientific community,” said Mr. Lodge.
“I trust that these deliberations will be key to continue advancing the work carried out so far and to help us identify potential measures that can be put in place to achieve the objectives set out in the Convention, and the rules, regulations and procedures of ISA.”
In his opening remarks, Mr. Sang Keun Song, Director General of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, highlighted the significant contribution made by the Republic of Korea to the work of ISA as a Sponsoring State.
“Over the past 30 years, the Government of the Republic of Korea has invested in exploring deep-sea mineral resources and the environment through exploration contacts for polymetallic nodules signed in 2001, polymetallic sulphides in 2014, and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in 2018,” said Mr. Song. “We are confident that effective REMPs will help us achieve sustainable management of these resources.”
Over the two-weeks, participants will discuss opportunities for future collaboration among contractors and the scientific community to address knowledge gaps and provide robust scientific evidence to support the development of a REMP in the region.
For more information on the workshop visit: https://bit.ly/327DoFk
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