Country Positions

1 Sep 2023

March 2024

25/3/24

  • The Philippines emphasized the need for comprehensive environmental impact assessments for the management of the marine environment. They stressed the importance of baseline assessments and natural capital accounting to provide a thorough stocktaking of resources, ecosystems and trophic interactions. 
  • The delegation noted that rehabilitation measures in closure plans should include baseline data.

November 2023

8/11/23

  • The Philippines noted the fundamental obligations of states to protect & preserve the marine environment and that states have specific obligations to take measures necessary to preserve rare ecosystems and threatened species.
  • The delegation also highlighted the recent adoption of the BBNJ agreement which is intended to ensure sustainable use of biological diversity.
  • “DSM impacts are not yet fully known, more research is needed.”
  • The Philippines urges states to ensure that regulations promote full compliance by states of their obligation to protect & preserve the marine environment within UNCLOS, 1994 Agreement, and emerging international law.
14 Jul 2023

March 2024

27/3/24

  • Acknowledges the significance of the regional environmental management plans as the crucial area based management tools for marine environmental protection and conservation.

26/3/24

  • Bangladesh advocated for a robust framework within the environmental compensation fund that ensures equitable compensation for all forms of environmental damage, including those affecting deep-sea ecosystems. 
  • The delegation noted that the fund framework should cover compensation for unintended environmental damages from activities in the Area, particularly those damaging fragile ecosystems.

20/3/24

  • Bangladesh believes that addressing environmental externalities in deep-sea mining operations is crucial for sustainable development.

18/3/24

  • Bangladesh stated that the most pressing challenge we face is the need to understand deep-sea biodiversity. 
  • “Knowledge is limited and much work to be done to ensure conservation and sustainable management.”

November 2023

2/11/23

  • Bangladesh expressed that EIAs are instrumental and a template will guide us and will give an equal field for contractors by providing them a framework
  • “As we know from BBNJ, we should look into that, as other states have said. The document here has the specific challenge of addressing the Area, but we should look at BBNJ as it may aid us in working on this”

1/11/23

  • “Underwater cultural heritage is testimony to the rich history of civilizations and the need to preserve it for future generations.” Bangladesh expressed support to Micronesia for exemplary international example in facilitating this group, and look forward to further collaboration.
  • Draft regulation 49 – “we would like to recommend that ‘harmful effects’ should be retained. And ‘serious harm’ omitted.”
  • “Marine litter and underwater noise should be retained in the definition since underwater noise is pollution – sound pollution. Likely that seismic activities will disturb marine life.”

July 2023

26/7/23

  • The delegation stated that the common heritage of humankind is a harbor of vast biodiversity and treasures playing a crucial role in climate stability and regulation and cannot be underestimated
  • Bangladesh stated that they are strongly against approving a plan of work without rules and regulations in place.

14/7/23

  • As it has not been possible to conclude negotiations on rules, regulations and procedures for deep-sea mining within the 2 year rule, Bangladesh asked how can a plan of work can be approved without having these regulations in place, and raised that it would be quite a risk to do so. 
  • Strong and robust regulations are a must. 
  • Bangladesh stated that the simple science actually tells us we must act wisely in ensuring the health and biodiversity of the ocean. Any future mining activity must ensure the health of the sea, biodiversity and the risks are understood. 
14 Jul 2023

JULY 2023

25/7/23

  • Monaco declares that it will “clearly and explicitly oppose any mining plan in the current state of scientific knowledge, which is particularly insufficient. It reiterates that no work plan should be carried out without a regulatory framework that takes into account reliable irrefutable scientific data and ensures effective protection of the marine environment as a whole. “

24/7/23

  • Monaco supports the inclusion of agenda item establishing a general policy by the Assembly related to the consultation of the marine environment under the two year rule, proposed by Chile, Costa Rica, France, Palau, and Vanuatu. Monaco states the Assembly should be able to debate all matters that are important to the various Member States. 

18/7/23

  • Monaco raised the need to ensure the Area benefits from environmental impact studies that are irrefutable in nature. The data from those studies needs to be made available. 

14/7/23

  • Monaco holds it is still not appropriate to approve a plan of work without first ensuring regulations to ensure optimum protection of the Area.
  • The Seabed is in the preamble to the Convention and indeed the operative part of the 1982 convention devotes the longest part, XI. 
  • Reiterated Monaco’s firm position to take the necessary time to develop the framework, acceptable to all States. Only science can lead us to achieving this vital goal for the climate and all of humanity.
27 Jun 2023

November 2023

31/10/23

  • Sierra Leone seeks a self standing compliance committee under the Council to be responsible for overall compliance, not one with in the LTC. “It is not viable, it is inconsistent with independence, impartiality and effectiveness on the one hand.”
  • Sierra Leone questions the technical expertise of LTC for a compliance committee
  • “The Compliance committee must be independent and respectful of due process, consistent with Costa Rica and Brasil comments and others.”

July 2023

26/7/23

  • Sierra Leone raised its concerns on underrepresentation of African groups at various levels of Secretariat, particularly at the senior management level.
  • Sierra Leone states that commercial exploitation of mineral resources in the Area should not be carried out in the absence of rules, regulations and procedures relating to exploitation, and reaffirms its commitment to the adoption of the said rules, regulations and procedures.
27 Jun 2023

July 2023

26/7/23

  • Malta stated that “transparency of the ISA is key – the work of the authority must be guided by data and science – these are the best things to tell us what is in the best interest of the common heritage of humankind – future generations will judge us by our actions.”
27 Jun 2023

March 2024

25/3/24

  • Zimbabwe recognises capacities differ in many countries, and that we may need to extend control to countries where companies have majority shareholders.
  • Zimbabwe supports a mixed approach to effective control that will combine both regulatory control and effective control.

18/3/24

  • The delegation noted that informal-informal discussions will help narrow down differences
  • Zimbabwe called for transparency to reach a consensus

July 2023

28/7/23

  • Zimbabwe highlighted their concern of the closing of the session without a formal agenda. “This means this meeting would not have taken place and we would not have done anything.”

26/7/23

  • Zimbabwe stated that it associates with the position echoed by several delegations that exploitation of the resource in the Area must not commence before requisite regulations are in place that take into account the scientific and environmental considerations.
  • They also noted the number of the very critical outstanding issues which have to be brought to finality before mining is carried out.
27 Jun 2023

July 2023

25/7/23

  • Vietnam stated that the international community is concerned about the marine environment and climate change. 
  • Vietnam noted that activities in the area should ensure the protection of the marine environment for sustainable development, equitable benefit sharing, and rise of developing countries on the basis of international law, especially UNCLOS.
27 Jun 2023

July 2023

25/7/23

  • Kenya stated that “Approval for exploitation in the area in the absence of rules and regulations is of grave concern as it is not clear. Without clear rules, it can be a threat to humankind, in particular developing nations. Exploitation without regulations defeats UNCLOS, fails to stipulate benefits for equitable sharing. Plans of works should therefore be deferred until regs are adopted in 2025. “
25 Jun 2023

March 2024

29/3/24

  • Ireland noted that there was not agreement on whether the Secretary General should go ahead with conferring with the IMO on the safety at sea issue, in the absence of a Council decision. The delegation further noted that since this is legally controversial, the Council should provide parameters of such an exercise. 
  • Ireland raised concerns with inaccuracies of past ISA press releases and called on the Secretariat to fix future inaccuracies immediately.
  • The delegation noted that the recent ISA press release included an explanatory paragraph on the role of the Authority and the potential of deep-sea resources for the green transition. Ireland pointed out that this is not within the mission statement of the ISA and requests language that more closely follows the ISA mission statement.

28/3/24

  • Ireland stated that cooperation and collaboration between regional seas organizations and global and sectoral bodies are crucial to maintain the ocean environment’s integrity. 
  • Ireland emphasized mutual respect and coordination between the ISA and OSPAR.

27/3/24

  • Ireland believes that test mining is obligatory and can be used to better understand accumlated impacts on the marine environment.

26/3/24

  • Ireland is supportive of establishing an environmental compensation fund to address liability gaps as identified by the UNCLOS 2011 advisory opinion. Ireland views that the scope of fund should include a broad range of damage and claimants.
  • Ireland believes it is essential that the environmental compensation fund is fully established and sufficiently funded before any exploitation activities commence, otherwise this could be a massive regulatory gap.

25/3/24

  • Ireland noted that one of the major contemporary challenges in ocean governance is the widespread practice of vessels using flag states of convenience, often to avoid taxes, labor standards or environmental standards.
  • Ireland mentions the exploitation regulations mustn’t allow for the phenomenon of sponsoring states of convenience. “The spread of sponsoring states of convenience would jeopardise uniform application of the highest standards of protection of the marine environment”

22/3/24

  • The delegation supports a robust, credible, independent compliance regime that is resourced financially and with expertise. 
  • Ireland noted that the LTC should be present but not be involved in the decision-making of the compliance committee.
  • Ireland acknowledges the right to protest at sea. 
  • Ireland suggests that there may not have been sufficient grounds for the ISA Secretary-General to issue immediate measures regarding the Greenpeace protest in November 2023.

20/3/24

  • Ireland supports incorporating environmental externalities into the payment regime for deep-sea mining to incentivize the protection and preservation of marine environments
  • Ireland believes that any system for incorporating environmental costs should be designed in a way that enhances protection and preservation while ensuring rigorous adherence to environmental standards.

November 2023

8/11/23

  • With regards to the development of an Emergency Response and Contingency Plan, Ireland said that matters pertaining to the protection of the marine environment should be given prominence and belong at the top of the list. Whilst other matters, such as safety at sea, are important, Ireland do not think that optically it is a good look for potentially very serious damages to the marine environment to seemingly be an afterthought, after less profound issues. 
  • Ireland questioned the need for a Contractor to receive more than one written warning by the Authority as one violation should be considered to be serious enough.
  • Ireland also questioned why a violation would need to be persistent and wilful, as for example, it is very often the case that environmental disasters are not wilful, but rather arise from recklessness or negligent conduct. 
  • “Maximum participation of observers and civil society is necessary as we continue with the draft regulations.”

2/11/23

  • On the requirement to submit environmental data annually/monthly the delegation stated that some need to be submitted in real time and monthly could be enough for some other type of data.
  •  Ireland suggests to moving to standards and guidelines.

1/11/23

  • Draft regulation 49: Ireland supports harmful effects over serious harm. “Harmful effects is the standard imposed by Art 145 of the Convention. Should be included in this regulation going forward.”
  • Marine litter and underwater noise – Ireland supports their inclusion in the definition of pollution.
  • Ireland believes that all mining discharges should happen under strict  environmental  standards

July 2023

25/7/23

  • Ireland supports the inclusion of agenda item titled establishment of a general policy by the Assembly related to the conservation of the marine environment, including in consideration of the effects of two year rule proposed by Chile, Costa Rica, France, Palau, and Vanuatu.