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ISA QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2019

ISA CELEBRATES MILESTONE ANNIVERSARY WITH HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT AT 25TH SESSION OF THE ASSEMBLY

Heads of States and Government, ministers, former Secretary-Generals, United Nations officials and observers who attended the Special Commemorative Session of the Assembly of ISA in Kingston on 25 July 2019 commended ISA on its efforts towards advancing the sustainable development of mineral resources for the benefit of all mankind over the last 25 years.

 

Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, emphasized ISA’s achievements since its establishment and the central role it is mandated to play in the Area. “This progressive organization, entrusted with the management and preservation of the common heritage of humankind, is to be congratulated for effectively undertaking the orderly, safe and responsible administration and development of the resources of the deep seabed,” he said.

 

In his remarks, the President of Nauru, Mr. Baron Waqa, further noted the significance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and commended ISA on its commitment towards building capacities in the Pacific region.

 

A high-level panel on strengthening capacity-building opportunities and initiatives for developing States was also held. Chaired by the President of Nauru, Hon. Mr. Baron Waqa, the panel was comprised of Mr. Jens Frolich Holte, (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Norway), H.E Carlos Den Hartog (Permanent Representative of Brazil to ISA), Mrs. Rena Lee (Ambassador for Oceans and Laws of the Sea Issues, Special Envoy of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore), Mrs. Sonali Samarasinghe (Minister, Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN), and H.E Satyendra Prasad (Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN).

 

MYANMAR WORKSHOP HIGHLIGHTS REGIONAL CAPACITY-BUILDING NEEDS FOR ASEAN AND BIMSTEC MEMBERS

A high-level workshop on ‘Deep-seabed Resources and the Blue Economy,’ organized by ISA in partnership with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in Nay Pyi Taw from 9 to 10 September, concluded with a list of recommendations to support initiatives and projects designed to strengthen the technical capacities of ASEAN and BIMSTEC countries in deep-seabed related disciplines. 


Co-sponsored by the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), the 2-day workshop was attended by participants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Lao DPR, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, who engaged in a series of discussions on the role and responsibilities of the institutions established by UNCLOS, and particularly ISA.


In their opening remarks, ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, and H.E Mr. Kyaw Tin, Union Minister for the Ministry of International Cooperation of Myanmar emphasized the strong commitment ASEAN and the BIMSTEC member countries have shown to the work of ISA over the last 25 years.

 

BANGLADESH MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE UNDERSCORES ROLE OF EXPLORATION IN THE BLUE ECONOMY  

ISA Secretary-General Mr. Michael W. Lodge, highlighted that effective international cooperation in collecting and sharing knowledge of ocean resources will be critical to realizing all aspects of the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean region, particularly data on marine biodiversity, at the Third Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Ministerial Conference held in Dhaka on 5 September.


In his opening remarks at the inaugural session of the Conference, chaired by H.E Sheikh Hasina, Honourable Prime Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Mr. Lodge commended Bangladesh for its commitment to ocean governance, and underscored ISA’s commitment to increased cooperation with the Indian Ocean region including through enhanced cooperation with IORA.


Held from 4 to 5 September, the 2-day conference was attended by over 100 ministers and officials from 31 countries and focused on the most strategic and efficient ways of promoting sustainable development of the Blue Economy among the nations bordering the Indian Ocean.

 

NAURU AND KIRIBATI REGIONAL WORKSHOPS STRENGHTEN CAPACITY-BUILDING IN THE PACIFIC

Senior government officials and experts from P-SIDS of the four sponsoring States (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga) convened at regional workshops held in Nauru and Kiribati in August, to boost the capacity of P-SIDS in marine scientific research (MSR) and raise awareness of the legal aspects of deep seabed activities undertaken beyond national jurisdiction.

 

Organized by ISA in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) and hosted by the Governments of the Republic of Nauru and the Republic of Kiribati, the workshops provided a unique opportunity for participants to gain a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of sponsoring States in the exploration of deep sea mineral resources and the field of MSR. Experts from Singapore, the UK, New Zealand as well as international and regional organizations and representatives of contractors sponsored by Pacific States were also in attendance.

 

 

ISA SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS WITH FIJI PRIME MINISTER DURING OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE PACIFIC

Initiating a series of visits in the Pacific region in August, ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, met with the Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr. Frank Bainimarama, as well as other high-level officials to discuss the sustainable development of mineral resources in the Area and ISA’s commitment to ensure increased participation of P-SIDS in its work.

 
Highlighting the significant contribution Fiji has made to the work of ISA since it was established 25 years ago under UNCLOS, Mr. Lodge commended Fiji for its contribution and long-standing support to the Organization, particularly through its leadership as a Council member.


In response, the Prime Minister further stressed that ISA had a “significant role to play in ensuring the sustainable management of deep-seabed resources and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.” During his official visit, Mr. Lodge also participated in a public lecture at the University of the South Pacific on deep seabed mining and the engagement of P-SIDS. 

 

ISA DEEPDATA: SHARING BIODIVERSITY KNOWLEDGE FOR THE BENEFIT OF HUMANITY

The new ISA DeepData database, which will serve as the principle repository of all deep-seabed related data collected in the Area, was launched by ISA Secretary-General Mr. Michael W. Lodge, at a special event held on the side-lines the ISA Assembly in Kingston, Jamaica on 25 July. In his statement, Mr. Lodge noted that this was “one of the most significant moments in the history of ISA.”

 

In its current form, DeepData contains biological, physical and geochemical parameters of the marine ecosystems from the seafloor to the ocean surface, submitted by ISA’s 29 contractors and covering approximately one per cent of the Area.

 

The launch of the new database represents the joint efforts of contractors, the LTC and the ISA Secretariat, to share collective knowledge of the deep-sea environment and its resources, for the benefit of all of humanity. This environmental data, including biodiversity information, can now be publicly accessed at: data.isa.org.jm/isa/map/

DR. MAURICIO SHIMABUKURO OF BRAZIL WINS SG AWARD FOR DEEP-SEA RESEARCH

ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, and Head of the Monaco Delegation Mr. Tidiani Couma, presented the 2019 edition of the ISA Secretary-General’s Award for Excellence in Deep Sea Research, to Dr. Mauricio Shimabukuro of Brazil, at ceremony held during the historic 25th Session of the ISA Assembly on 25 July.

 

Dr. Shimabukuro was congratulated by the Secretary-General for his extensive work on the ecology of the South Atlantic and deep-sea exploration experience. He has published nine papers on topics of relevance to the ISA, notably n the ecology of the South Atlantic, and he has also contributed to a book on Brazilian deep-sea habitats.

 

The Secretary General's Award is intended to encourage and recognise the excellence of researchers under 35 years old from developing countries who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge of the deep-sea environment or to improve the development of environmentally sustainable regulatory frameworks.

 

ISA GALLERY RECEIVES BLACK SMOKER CHIMNEY AHEAD OF OFFICIAL OPENING

Tonga Offshore Mining Limited (TOML) together with Estrutura de Missão para a Extensão da Plataforma Continental (EMEPC) of Portugal donated a black smoker chimney to the ISA Gallery in Kingston, Jamaica, ahead of ISA’s 25th Anniversary commemorative ceremony on 25 July. 

 

ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, expressed his sincere appreciation for the gift presented by TOML and EMEPC. He emphasized that this contribution to the ISA Gallery will enable visitors and delegates to closely observe the geological formation that was collected at 1,553 meters deep in the Bismarck Sea - in the archipelagic waters of Papua New Guinea. 

 

“I wish to thank TOML and EMEPC for this impressive contribution to the ISA Gallery” said Mr. Lodge. “The black smoker chimney will certainly help delegates and visitors to better understand deep sea geology and mineral resources.”  The ISA Gallery officially opened at the Special 25th Anniversary Session of ISA in Kingston on 25 July.

 

TONGA DONATES TRADITIONAL GIFTS TO COMMEMORATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF ISA

The Kingdom of Tonga donated two handmade gifts crafted, by traditional Tongan artists, to the ISA Gallery to mark the 25th Anniversary of ISA, at a ceremony led by the Head of the Delegation of the Kingdom of Tonga Dr. Tevita Suka Mangisi, in Kingston, Jamaica on 22 July.

 

To commemorate the anniversary, Dr. Tevita Suka Mangisi, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations, presented ISA Secretary-General Mr. Michael W. Lodge with a wooden carving featuring the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Tonga and the ISA emblem along with a tapa – a traditional Tongan cloth and one of the nation’s most significant cultural possessions.

 

Dr. Tevita Suka Mangisi highlighted the significance of the gifts, which reflect the cooperation and professional relationship of the Kingdom of Tonga with ISA in ensuring the operationalization of the principle of the Common Heritage of Mankind as reflected under UNCLOS.

 

ISA COUNCIL FOCUSES ON DRAFT REGULATIONS FOR EXPLOITATION OF DEEP-SEABED MINERALS

Representatives from Member States and Observers at Part II of the 25th Session of ISA’s Council held in Kingston, Jamaica from 15 to 19 July, focused on the development of the draft exploitation regulations for minerals in the international seabed area, along with other regulatory matters.

 

In their opening statements, ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge and President of the Council H.E. Lumka Yengeni, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South-Africa to ISA, highlighted key milestones made by the LTC, Member States and the ISA Secretariat since the last ISA Council meeting in February in 2019. 

 

The Council members approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of a joint training and research center between ISA and the Ministry of Natural Resources of China. Members also adopted the guidelines for observer status of non-governmental organizations with ISA. The Council will reconvene at Part I of the 26th Session of ISA in February 2020.

CHINA DONATES DEEP-SEA EXPLORATION MODELS TO ISA GALLERY

In celebration of ISA’s 25th Anniversary, the People’s Republic of China presented several pieces including models of research vessels and submersibles to be displayed in the ISA Gallery. The pieces were handed over to Secretary-General Michael W. Lodge by Ambassador Tian Qi, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to ISA, at an official ceremony organized at the headquarters of ISA, in Kingston, Jamaica, on 25 June.

 

ISA Secretary-General, Michael W. Lodge said, “These remarkable models provide valuable insight into the deep-sea technologies that are currently being used to advance deep seabed exploration in support of the effective management of ocean resources and building the knowledge we need to ensure protection of the common heritage of mankind.”


Ambassador Tian Qi further acknowledged China’s ongoing commitment to support the work of ISA and promote implementation of the principle of the common heritage of mankind to co-build a “Maritime Community with a Shared Future.”

JAMAICA CELEBRATES WORLD OCEANS DAY AT THE ISA OPEN DAY

Almost 200 participants, including Permanent Representatives of ISA and representatives of UN agencies, along with students and teachers from 10 high schools and the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) gathered at the Jamaica Conference Centre on June 7 to commemorate World Oceans Day. World Oceans Day is marked on June 8 each year to celebrate the major role oceans play, and the progress achieved in the sustainable management of their activities and resources.

 

The 2019 edition of World Oceans Day was launched with the ISA Open Day, held in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) of Jamaica. Students from across the country delivered creative interventions as part of the Open Day, which also marked the 25th Anniversary of ISA, including poems, songs and essays.

 

World Oceans Day was first introduced in 1992 to raise awareness of the crucial role the sea plays as sources of food, oxygen and medicine.

UN GLOBAL COMPACT MEETING OUTLINES DEMAND FOR RESPONSIBLY SOURCED SEABED MINERALS

Deep seabed mining has the potential to accelerate progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by increasing scientific knowledge of the deep ocean whilst at the same time providing opportunities for economic growth on the basis of fairness and equity, highlighted Mr. Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General of ISA at the High-Level UN Global Compact meeting held in Oslo, Norway from 3 to 7 June 2019.

 

“Mining and metals are essential for a low carbon future and are an integral part of achieving the 2030 Agenda,” said Mr. Lodge. Accordingly, Mr. Lodge emphasized the importance of the work of ISA in ensuring that the development of the regulatory system for deep seabed mining is done in compliance with international law, balancing the need for environmental protection with the need for new sources of critical minerals.

 

LATEST VIDEOS

ISA AT 25

A look back at the achievements of ISA over the last 25 years and ISA’s pioneering efforts to help build a sustainable future.

 

CHAMPIONS OF THE OCEAN

Former ISA trainees reflect on their experiences in the ISA contractor and internship training programmes.

 

STAFF VOICES

LUCIANA GENIO, ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYST

How long have you worked at ISA?
I joined ISA in February 2019, right in time for the first part of the 25th Session.

What’s the best thing about your role?
I am very excited to be taking part in global discussions and activities contributing to increased knowledge of unexplored deep-sea ecosystems and ensuring their preservation.

What’s the most challenging thing about your role?
Interfacing between science and policy is the greatest challenge of my role.

Can you describe a current or recent project you enjoyed working on?
One of the first projects I became involved and is currently being developed is a new taxonomic initiative, aiming to strengthen contractors’ scientific capabilities to implement the Mining Code and Environment Management Plans, while advancing the knowledge of the deep sea species and enhancing deep-ocean sustainable observations.

What advice do you have for prospective ISA candidates?
If you like to collaborate and enjoy multidisciplinary work, ISA is the place to be!

What’s your favourite activity outside of work?
I really like being outdoors, going to the beach and water sports have always been my favourite leisure activities. Besides stunning nature, I found an amazing couple of tennis coaches in Kingston that have been keeping me fit and happy during my busy weeks.

 

COMING UP AT ISA

1- 4 Oct: Deep CCZ Biodiversity Synthesis Workshop Friday Harbor, Washington, USA


14-16 Nov:  International Conference on Legal, Scientific and Economic Aspects of Deep Seabed Mining Kingston, Jamaica


25-29 Nov: Workshop on the Regional Environmental Plan for the Area of the Northern Mid Atlantic Ridge Evora, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 







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