Annual International Seabed Authority meeting commences with strong statement from the African Group

Date: February 25, 2019

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) is attending the 25th Annual Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which commenced today. The ISA is an UN–appointed body responsible for managing the riches of the deep seabed for the “common heritage of mankind” and oversees the potential commercialization of resources from the high seas, such as through deep seabed mining. At the start of the meeting, Algeria delivered a strong statement on behalf of the African Group, which consists of 47 African nations.

“We understand that there is a timeline to respect, but there are also other constraints and we should avoid rushing without a proper and meticulous regulatory process. We would like to recall, in this regard, words pronounced by Peter Thomson, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Ocean, at the Ocean Day in Davos last month, “There is a UN decade for Ocean Science, which has been agreed to by 193 countries […] in the General Assembly in December 2017, and that decade will run from 2021 to 2030 […] why wouldn’t we give that decade its full run before we start even thinking about disturbing the seabed of the high seas, we are talking moratorium of 10 years in that case”. These words are food for thought to all of us.”

Read the full African Group statement here and read the DSCC’s interventions to the ISA here.

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