Part II of the 25th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) Council opened in Kingston, Jamaica this week with a key focus on the development of the draft exploitation regulations for minerals in the international seabed area, along with other regulatory matters.
Representatives from Member States and Observers are gathered here from 15 to 19 July to carry out a first reading of the draft exploitation regulations for commercial deep seabed mining and continue discussions around the payment mechanism for mineral exploitations.
In his opening statement, ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, highlighted key milestones made by the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC), Member States and the ISA Secretariat since the last ISA Council meeting in February in 2019.
“Much has happened since the last meeting held here just five months ago,” said Mr. Lodge. “The most important development of course is that the LTC completed its task to deliver its recommendations on the draft regulations for exploitation of minerals in the Area, together with a commentary explaining the reasons for its decisions and highlighting areas for further consideration.”
The Secretary-General also noted that the standards and guidelines workshop hosted by South-Africa in partnership with the UK Government in May 2019, was an important achievement.
“The Pretoria workshop on standards and guidelines was a great success and resulted in a shared understanding of the place of standards and guidelines within the context of the draft regulations, as well as in outlining an action plan for the timely development of these standards and guidelines,” he added.
President of the Council H.E. Lumka Yengeni, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South-Africa to ISA echoed the Secretary-General’s remarks. “A major milestone has been achieved since the Council met in February,” said Ambassador Yengeni. “The LTC has transmitted to the Council its recommendations on the draft regulations and this is truly a commendable achievement.”
This week, Council Members will also consider the status of national legislation relating to deep seabed mining; applications for a plan of work by Beijing Pioneer Hi-Tech Development Corporation for exploration; elections to fill a vacancy on the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC); reports of the Chairs of the LTC and Finance Committee, and matters relating to the Enterprise.
The ISA Council will be followed by the 25th session of the ISA Assembly which will be held from 22 to 26 July and during which a Special Commemorative Session to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ISA will be organised on 25 July 2019.
For more information visit the 25th Session Portal: bit.ly/ISBA_25
Daily highlights of Part 2 of the 25th Session meetings are also available by ENB/IISD.
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