The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) has approved today the Action Plan for Marine Scientific Research (MSR) in the Area that will formalize ISA’s contribution to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, set to begin January 2021.
The objectives of the UN Decade are at the core of ISA’s mandate to promote and encourage the conduct of marine scientific research in the international seabed area (the Area), disseminate the results, and facilitate participation of developing States in deep-sea exploration and research programmes.
Argentina, currently Chair of IOC-UNESCO and member of ISA, has agreed to serve as Champion and help mobilize the necessary efforts for the effective implementation of the ISA MSR Action Plan.
H. E. Luis del Solar Dorrego, Argentina’s Permanent Representative to ISA, reaffirmed his country’s strong support to the ISA MSR Action Plan and its commitment to the UN Decade. “Argentina is proud to have been invited to act as Champion of ISA's Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development. In this sense, our country is committed to contribute and work together with the Authority to promote the objectives of the Decade, especially those related to the promotion of marine scientific research in the Area, equitable access to its results, and the participation of developing States in the activities carried out there, always respecting the principle of common heritage of humankind, of its resources and the protection of the marine environment,” he said.
In line with ISA’s Strategic Plan and High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2023, the MSR Action Plan identifies six strategic research priorities:
- Advancing scientific knowledge and understanding of deep-sea ecosystems, including biodiversity and ecosystems functions in the Area;
- Standardizing and innovating methodologies for deep-sea biodiversity assessment, including taxonomic identification and description in the Area;
- Facilitating technology development for activities in the Area, including ocean observation and monitoring;
- Enhancing scientific knowledge and understanding of potential impacts of activities in the Area;
- Promoting dissemination, exchange and sharing of scientific data and deep-sea research outputs and increasing deep-sea literacy;
- Strengthening deep-sea scientific capacity of ISA members, in particular developing States.
“By adopting this MSR Action Plan, the members of ISA are reiterating the strong commitment of the Organization to fulfill its unique mandate under UNCLOS,” said H.E Michael W. Lodge, ISA Secretary-General. “We will now increase our efforts to ensure that together with our members and all other interested stakeholders we build and reinforce strategic partnerships for creating the synergies needed to successfully deliver the ‘Science we need for the ocean we want,’” he added.
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