Highlights and images for 17 February 2020



Luis del Solar, Argentina, outgoing Acting Council President, and Taaniela Kula, Tonga, Council President for the 26th session

On Monday, the first part of the 26th session of the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) opened in Kingston, Jamaica. After a halting start, Council members elected Taaniela Kula, Tonga, as President of ISA-26, before delving into discussions on key issues. The big discussion of the day centered around the composition and size of the Authority’s Legal and Technical Commission (LTC), an issue that has been controversial in the past. In plenary and in informal deliberations, views diverged on the role and importance of geographical representation vis-à-vis expertise, with many noting the need to balance the two. Others stressed that regional balance engenders trust and that the LTC should remain a body in which parties have confidence. Discussions on this issue will continue later in the week.Highlights of the day included:

  • the election of the ISA-26 bureau, comprising Nigeria, for the African Group; the Russian Federation, for the Eastern European Group; Jamaica, for the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC); and Canada, for the Western Europe and Others Group;
  • formal and informal discussions relating to two proposals on the composition and size of the ISA’s LTC;
  • the election of Carsten Rühlemann (Germany) to fill a vacancy on the LTC;
  • comments on the implementation of the Council decision on the reports of the LTC Chair; and
  • a report on the recently concluded meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group addressing the financial model related to the sharing of benefits of the exploitation of the Area.

At lunchtime, a side event was organized by Office of Environmental Management and Mineral Resources (OEMMR) of the ISA on the results of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone and Evora Workshops related to the review and development of Regional Environmental Management Plans in the Area.For more details on the day’s events and to learn what delegates said in the breezeways, see our daily Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB).

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports from the 1st Part of ISA-26. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has publish a summary and analysis report in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera

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Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, ISA Legal Counsel and Deputy to the Secretary-General, and ISA Secretary-General Michael Lodge
ISA Secretary-General Michael Lodge congratulates Luis del Solar, Argentina, for his work as Acting Council President for the 26th session
Gavin Watson, UK
Taaniela Kula, Tonga, Council President for the 26th session
Janet Omoleegho Olisa, Nigeria
Urs Daniel Engels, Germany
Carlos Alberto Michaelsen den Hartog, Brazil
Gina Guillén Grillo, Costa Rica
Hugo Verbist, Belgium
The Council during Monday’s proceedings
Vijay Kumar, India
Kathy-Ann Brown, Jamaica
Esther Salamanca Aguado and Josep María Bosch Bessa, Spain
Emilio Lasford Douglas, Panama
Jiang Jun, China
Diva Amon, Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI)
Megan Jungwiwattanaporn, The Pew Charitable Trusts
L-R: Taaniela Kula, Tonga, Council President for the 26th session; Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, ISA Legal Counsel and Deputy to the Secretary-General; and Charlotte Salpin and Marie Bourrel-McKinnon, ISA Secretariat
Representatives from the Holy See and Italy confer.
Around the Venue
L-R: Gavin Watson and Lowri Mai Griffiths, UK, and Rena Lee, Singapore
Jim Gray, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Kate Neville, ENB
Philomène Verlaan, International Marine Minerals Society (IMMS), and Kenneth Wong, Canada
Francisco Javier Bernales Errázuriz, Chile, and Carlos Alberto Michaelsen den Hartog, Brazil
A view from the venue