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First Part of the 24th Session of the International Seabed Authority

5-9 March 2018 | Headquarters of the International Seabed Authority, Kingston, Jamaica

Summary Highlights of the Meeting

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ISA participants reviewing the President's Draft Statement

Highlights for Friday, 9 March 2018

On Friday, the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) finalized a draft on compliance and continued consideration of the draft regulations on the exploitation of deep seabed minerals in an informal format, with specific regard to the roles of the Council, the Secretary-General, and the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC). The Council then considered a draft President statement with a view to identifying any serious concerns or gaps.

Discussions focused on:

  • the need to expand upon the protection of the marine environment and the common heritage of humankind in the draft exploitation regulations;
  • a reference to “ensuring commercially viable” regulatory provisions in the guidance provided to the LTC; and
  • a balanced allocation of powers among the ISA organs.

ISA Secretary-General Michael Lodge thanked delegates for their constructive and well-considered contributions, and congratulated them for realizing the objective of the informal format to enable the Council to “work hand in hand” with LTC in developing the draft regulations with a view to eventually ensuring their broad acceptability and expeditious adoption. President Myklebust reflected that the Council “achieved a lot,” leaving a massive amount of work for the LTC, that will certainly “know how to do the job.” He gaveled the meeting to a close at 12:41pm.

ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the first part of the 24th Annual Session of the International Seabed Authority is available in: HTML and PDF format.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from the 1st Part of the 24th Session of the International Seabed Authority.

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Olav Myklebust, Norway, Council President for the 24th Session

Michael Lodge, ISA Secretary-General


Gwénaëlle Le Gurun, ISA Secretariat

Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, ISA Legal Counsel and Deputy to the Secretary-General


L-R: Tommo Monthe, Cameroon; Thembile Joyini, South Africa; and Cécile Mballa Eyenga, Cameroon


Mehdi Remaoun, Algeria, on behalf of the African Group

Carlos Alberto Michaelsen den Hartog, Brazil


Cécile Mballa Eyenga, Cameroon

Kathy Ann Brown, Jamaica


Gavin Watson, UK

Duncan Currie, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition


Ahmed Farouk, Egypt

Rose Kautoke, Tonga

Juan Manuel Galindo Roldán, Argentina , Argentina


Urs Daniel Engels, Germany

Wini Broadbelt, the Netherlands

Eduardo Bonilla, Chile


Didier Ortolland, France

Gaia Puleston, Australia

Conn Nugent, The Pew Charitable Trusts


Olav Myklebust, Norway, Council President for the 24th Session, gaveled the meeting to a close at 12:41pm


Highlights for Thursday, 8 March 2018

On Thursday, the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) discussed a draft text on compliance for insertion in the Council President’s statement on the work of this meeting. Delegates debated:

  • what constitutes non-compliance by contractors;
  • reporting obligations by sponsoring states; and
  • reporting by the Secretary-General to the Council.

Informal consultations were held in the evening.

In addition, the Council continued consideration of the draft regulations on the exploitation of deep-seabed minerals in an informal format, focusing on environmental provisions. Discussions focused on:

  • precaution;
  • discharges from mining activities;
  • environmental impact assessments and environmental monitoring; and
  • the role of regional environmental management plans in the draft regulations.

For more about the day’s events, read the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 8 March 2018


ISA delegates in informal consultations on compliance


Michael Lodge, ISA Secretary-General

Olav Myklebust, Norway, Council President for the 24th Session


ISA participants from civil society and observer organizations


Wini Broadbelt, the Netherlands

Gaia Puleston, Australia


Philomène Verlaan, Sargasso Sea Commission

Kathy Ann Brown, Jamaica


Karen Tan, Singapore

Rose Kautoke, Tonga


Delegates from Belgium


L-R: Laura Gavinelli and Daniele Bosio, Italy


Jamaica Conference Centre grounds


Highlights for Wednesday, 7 March 2018

On Wednesday, the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) continued consideration of the draft regulations on the exploitation of deep-seabed minerals in an informal format with a view to conveying the outcome as a Council President’s summary to the ISA Legal and Technical Commission.
 
On the basis of a briefing note on stakeholders’ submissions on the regulations, delegations exchanged views on: a payment mechanism; the role of sponsoring states; and the role and legal status of standards, recommendations and guidelines.

Discussions focused on:

  • the scope and approach of the independent financial model;
  • options for a revenue- or profit-based payment scheme; and
  • the responsibility of sponsoring states, the ISA and contractors, including questions of liability.

For more about the day’s events, read the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 7 March 2018


Delegates from Japan consulting


L-R: Olav Myklebust, Norway, Council President for the 24th Session; Gwénaëlle Le Gurun, ISA Secretariat; and Richard Roth, Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT)


Olav Myklebust, Norway, Council President for the 24th Session

Richard Roth, MIT


L-R: Kathy Ann Brown, Jamaica, in a discussion with Carlos Alberto Michaelsen den Hartog, Brazil


Piotr Nowak, Poland

Tevita Suka Mangisi, Tonga


Matt Gianni, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

Gavin Watson, UK


L-R: Qinghu Feng, China, with Kenneth Wong, Canada

Lowri Mai Griffiths, UK, in a conversation with Kjell Kristian Egge, Norway, and Zentaro Naganuma, Japan


Mohamed Atlassi, Morocco, reading the ENB


Bird's eye view of the ISA 24th Council


Highlights for Tuesday, 6 March 2018

On Tuesday, the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) began consideration of draft regulations on exploitation of deep seabed minerals, in an informal format with a view to facilitating a frank discussion and conveying the outcome as a Council President’s summary to the ISA Legal and Technical Commission.

Delegations exchanged general views on the draft regulations and on a briefing note on stakeholders’ submissions on the regulations, with a focus on: the pathway from exploration to exploitation and beyond, and on the payment mechanism.

Discussions focused on:

  • the process to discuss and further develop the draft regulations;
  • the relevance of the regulations for sustainable development and environmental protection;
  • what, how, when and whom the Authority will regulate; and
  • an independent financial model.

For more about the day’s events, read the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 6 March 2018


Richard Roth, Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT), presenting on the economics of seabed mining for
polymetallic nodules


L-R: Chris Brown, ISA Secretariat; Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, ISA Legal Counsel and Deputy to the Secretary-General; Michael Lodge, ISA Secretary-General; Olav Myklebust, Norway, Council President for the 24th Session; and Gwénaëlle Le Gurun, ISA Secretariat


Ernesto Malda, Mexico

Daniele Bosio, Italy


L-R: South African delegates Thembile Joyini and Philip Riley


L-R: Carlos Alberto Michaelsen den Hartog, Brazil; Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, ISA Legal Counsel and Deputy to the Secretary-General; and Rodrigo de Oliveira Castro, Brazil


Fish carvings around the ISA


Highlights for Monday, 5 March 2018

On Monday, the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) opened for the first part of the 24th annual session in Kingston, Jamaica.

Following a flag ceremony performed by the Caribbean Maritime University, the Council addressed organizational matters and heard reports on the status of exploration contracts, the implementation of the 2017 Council decision relating to the summary report of the Legal and Technical Commission Chair and a preliminary strategy for the development of regional environmental management plans for the Area.

The Council also considered information related to contractors' compliance with the plans of work for exploration, and a proposed memorandum of understanding between the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization and the ISA. The discussion focused on:

- regional environmental management plans; and

- compliance issues, such as penalties and confidentiality.

For more about the day’s events, read the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

+ Visit the web coverage for Monday, 5 March 2018


Cadets from the Caribbean Maritime University, Kingston, Jamaica, carrying flags of ISA member states


L-R: Olav Myklebust, Norway, Council President for the 24th Session, welcomed by Michael Lodge, ISA Secretary-General


Olav Myklebust, Norway, Council President for the 24th Session

Ariel Fernández, Argentina, Council President for the 23rd Session


Li Lin Lin, China

Tommo Monthe, Cameroon


Conn Nugent, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Duncan Currie, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition


View of the ISA Council session


Delegates from China consulting


Cadets from the Caribbean Maritime University, Kingston, Jamaica




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Specific funding for coverage of the 1st Part of the 24th Session of the International Seabed Authority
has been provided by the International Seabed Authority
International Seabed Authority