As part of on-going stakeholder consultation, the International Seabed Authority (ISA), in partnership with the Centre for International Law (CIL) of the National University of Singapore, held a workshop on mineral exploitation in the Area, in Singapore on 16-17 June 2015.
The workshop focused on issues relating to the development of a sustainable deep sea mining industry and highlighted the urgent need far an exploitation code, which would include a transitional financial regime with an initial payment mechanism comprising an annual flat fee and a royalty payment, ISA reported.
Several key environmental issues were identified such as the need for wide accessibility of scientific data and the need to clarify key environmental terms such as serious harm to the marine environment, cumulative impacts and the scope of environmental impact assessments. The benefits of facilitating participation by key stakeholders, including contractors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other interested parties in relevant ISA processes to develop the code were also emphasized.
The objective of the workshop was to canvas the main perspectives and concerns of stakeholder groups, continue the process of stakeholder participation in the development of a regulatory framework for mineral exploitation on the two key consultation documents issued by the ISA in March 2015. The first, the Draft Framework for the Regulation of Exploitation Activities, issued by the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC). The second, theDiscussion Paper, on the Financial Terms of Exploitation Contracts issued by the ISA Secretariat.
The Workshop was opened by Professor Robert Beckman, Director, CIL followed by a keynote address by the ISA Secretary-General, Nii Allotey Odunton.
The sessions were co-chaired by Mr Michael Lodge, ISA Deputy to the Secretary-General and Legal Counsel and CIL Governing Board Chairman, Professor Tommy Koh and was attended by 89 participants representing a cross section of stakeholders, contractors, State sponsors, NGOs, academia including the ISA Secretariat and members of its Legal and Technical Commission.