Scientific Activities and Promotion

Activities Summary

A principal function of the Authority is to regulate deep seabed mining and to give special emphasis to ensuring that the marine environment is protected from any harmful effects which may arise during mining activities, including exploration.

One of its first priorities was the formulation of the Regulations for Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules which includes the collaboration of the respective responsibilities of seabed explorers and the Authority in order to ensure environmentally sustainable development of seabed mineral resources.

To date, the Authority has issued Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area (adopted 13 July 2000) which was later updated and adopted 25 July 2013; the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Sulphides in the Area (adopted 7 May 2010) and the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Cobalt-Rich Crusts (adopted 27 July 2012).

As part of its substantive work programme, the Secretariat of the Authority also carries out detailed resource assessments of the areas reserved for the Authority; maintains a specialised Database (POLYDAT) of data and information on the resources of the international seabed area and monitors the current status of scientific knowledge of the deep sea marine environment as part of its ongoing development and formulation of the Central Data Repository.

The Authority also continues to promote and encourage:

  • Marine scientific research in the international seabed Area through its Endowment Fund by supporting the participation of qualified scientists and technical personnel from developing countries in marine scientific research programmes and activities and by providing opportunities to these scientists to participate in relevant initiatives;
  • Workshops on the scientific and technical nature of its work relating to the deep seabed mining of minerals, the environmental impacts of such exploration and how the data and information collected by the various scientific institutions can be standardized and shared with its member States;
  • Regional sensitization seminars on issues associated with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the work of the Authority and on marine mineral resources to bring together experts from the international legal and scientific community with national and regional government officials, scientists, researchers and academics to discuss scientific research on marine minerals and propose mechanisms for improving regional cooperation in scientific research and marine mineral development; and
  • The ISA/Contractors Training programme whereby each ISA contractor is required to propose a training programme for nationals of developing states.
  • Stakeholder Surveys to solicit relevant information for the development of a regulatory framework for the exploitation of minerals in the Area from members of the Authority and current and future stakeholders.

The results of all activities of the Authority are disseminated through publications of workshop Proceedings,Technical Studies, Briefing Papers and Brochures.

Technical Studies and Proceedings

Technical Studies



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