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05.07.2024In light of the upcoming International Seabed Authority (ISA) discussions in Kingston, Jamaica and the election of its Secretary-General, the DSCC is extremely concerned with the latest allegations reported by the New York Times (4th July 2024) surrounding the election and the alleged activities of current Secretary-General, Michael Lodge, in his bid to be reelected to a third term. Previous reports over the past several years have alleged other improprieties involving the current Secretary-General. The New York Times, LA Times, The Guardian, and Bloomberg all contain accusations that Mr. Lodge has not been an impartial arbiter, has downplayed environmental concerns, and has overstepped his mandate

Despite their very serious nature, none of the allegations made in the previous press reports have been acknowledged, much less investigated, by either the Council or the Assembly of the ISA,” said Matthew Gianni, co-founder of the DSCC who has been attending ISA meetings since 2014. “It is the responsibility of the 168 ISA member states and the European Union to ensure good governance in this global body responsible for the health of the deep ocean and the common heritage of humankind. States should urgently take action to ensure the integrity of the election process, the ISA, and its ability to protect the vital functions of the deep ocean.”

In electing the head of an international body, with a mandate to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment in managing any activities related to seabed mineral resources for the benefit of humankind as a whole, States must elect a candidate that will prioritize the protection of the marine environment and stand unwavering in upholding good governance practices based on inclusivity, transparency, accountability, and integrity.  

As it stands, the ISA is not equipped to, nor has the scientific knowledge to, act as an effective protector of the deep sea and regulate an emerging, complex industry that threatens the blue heart of our planet. To safeguard the deep ocean, the DSCC has called for all countries to support a moratorium on deep-sea mining. 


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Notes to editor: 

  • The Assembly of the ISA will meet from 29 July to 2 August. The election is currently scheduled to take place on Friday, 2 August.