Michael Lodge, ISA Secretary-General, consulting with Cai Yongsheng, ISA Secretariat (left), and Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, ISA Legal Counsel and Deputy to the Secretary-General (center)
On Tuesday, the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) continued its deliberations on the draft regulations for exploitation of mineral resources in the Area, focusing on: use of terms and scope; fundamental policies and principles; duty to cooperate and exchange of information; coastal States’ rights; and elements around applications for approval of Plans of Work in the form of contracts.
Highlights of the day included the:
exchange of divergent opinions on whether the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) should continue addressing the draft exploitation regulations or whether the Council should decide on next steps;
differing opinions on the pace of negotiations, with some delegations expressing frustration with the slow pace that pushes the finish line further into the future;
prolonged discussion on whether to include a provision for independent experts to assist and advise the LTC;
role of the Secretary-General vis-à-vis the Council and the LTC in determining whether an applicant has preference and priority; and
issue of ensuring environmental protection, taken up both as a general principle and as a component of the Plan of Work.
At lunchtime, a side event was organized by the Netherlands under the title “Nodules from Seafloor to Shore – The Blue Nodules Project.” During the afternoon, a side event organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) addressed ways to support the application of the ecosystem approach in the Area, focusing on ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) and integrated assessment of the Atlantic Marine Ecosystem.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports from the 2nd Part of ISA-25. In addition, IISD Reporting Services, has published a summary and analysis from the meeting, which is now available in HTML and PDF.
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