Nauru – Key statements

Date: 10 November 2022

March 2024


  • Nauru noted their attempt to push Council forward on a decision regarding Item 20 on the safety at sea issue. The delegation noted that they were not able to reach an agreement on a draft decision but indicated they do not believe that the inability to reach a decision prevents the ISA Secretary-General to confer with the IMO.


  • Nauru stated that REMPs are not legally binding. 
  • Nauru emphasized the importance of including tangible and intangible underwater cultural heritage in the regulations. However, the delegation noted that they do not believe the entirety of the deep sea is considered to be intangible cultural heritage.


  • Nauru expressed that an environmental compensation fund should be able to provide compensation for damage unlawfully caused by contractor activities. The delegation noted that all human activities will cause effects and harms to the marine environment, even if minor in nature. As such the environmental compensation fund should not be used to remedy for all impacts to the environment. 


  • Nauru states that the current definition of environmental impact is quite broad language in paragraph c(vi) and risks applications being rejected for relatively minor environmental impacts, and suggests deleting.
  • Nauru stated that if an applicant meets requirements, the LTC must recommend a plan of work for approval. They argue that the Commission should not have discretion to refuse an application.
  • Regulation 5.e – Nauru considers this regulation out to be outside the Authority’s mandate and can be deemed anti-competitive. 


  • Nauru suggests that the compliance committee should be a subsidiary body of the council, interfacing with other organs of the authority. Nauru noted that concerns with the current LTC workload.
  • Nauru believes that Greenpeace’s actions in November 2023 as “unsafe and not peaceful”. The delegation expressed that Greenpeace’s actions were unlawful. 
  • Nauru stated that it is not permitted for a domestic Dutch court to decide on the Secretary-General measures and regrets that the Netherlands took neither action and instead took other measures. 
  • Nauru will seek guidance on how the ISA can review and assess Greenpeace’s rights to remain as an observer.


  • Nauru noted that no land-based mining does not take into account environmental externalities and that the use of externalities would not be compatible with other obligations – such as ensuring revenue for the ISA and attracting innovation and investment in the Area. 
  • The delegation added that it is premature for the Authority to contemplate incorporating environmental externalities. “It is premature and it needs to happen on land first.”


  • Nauru indicated they are sponsoring an application in the near future.

November 2023


  • Nauru does not consider that contractors should pay for audits as should be conducted by independent auditor, should be part of authority responsibility. 
  • Nauru believes that audits should be confidential.

July 2023


  • Nauru states that they have played a key role in progressing the international legal framework by formally requesting that the Council complete and adopt rules and regulations for exploitation within the two year deadline.


  • Nauru states that it recognises the development of the draft exploitation regulations as making a significant contribution to ocean affairs 


  • Nauru strongly opposes the new proposed 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 the two year old, proposed by Chile, Costa Rica, France, Palau, and Vanuatu. 


  • Nauru raised conceptual and legal concerns regarding the obligation of contractors, including that the contractor should be responsible and liable for their conduct, and the ISA cannot extend liability to others that are not party to the contract of a contractor.  


  • Nauru requests that a consolidated version of the draft regulations be prepared in advance of the November meeting. It should include the revised text including a final round of written submissions after this meeting.


  • Support the deletion of text relating to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) being subject to peer reviewed by competent independent experts

March 2023


  • Seeks clarification of last sentence of para. 24(c) of briefing note from the 8 March Intersessional where “provisionally approved plan of work does not equate to a contract for exploitation.” But 23(a) notes that some delegations think that a provisionally approved Plan of Work DOES equal a contract.


  • Questioned placing the burden on the applicant contractor to address any stakeholder comments received “we know that not all comments received from stakeholders will be relevant or necessary to address.”
  • Questioned the requirement that independent experts conduct monitoring of activities for at least the first seven years of exploitation. 
  • The delegation considered that it is the contractors obligation to perform its monitoring programme and it appears excessive to require the contractor to have outsourced this obligation for at least the first seven years of exploitation. 
  • Questioned whether independent experts needed to conduct supplementary monitoring.


  • Stated that undue delays in document prep shouldn’t delay contractors and their application and submission of plans of work for exploitation
  • Commented that regulations should not impose an undue cost and administration burdens on contractors.

October/November 2022


  • Nauru recognizes the need for a robust regulatory framework for the responsible exploitation of seafloor minerals to ensure deep-sea ecosystems are adequately protected. 
  • Remain committed to the conversation on solutions to the global climate crisis, including the sourcing of minerals critical to a low carbon future of which nodule collection, Nauru considers to form an integral part of. 
  • Echoed questions raised by the Cook Islands, including those concerning France’s two exploration contacts.  
  • Supports The Netherlands’ proposal for contractors that have ignored calls by the Council to be named. 


  • Nauru stated that as sponsoring State and in good faith, will not entertain lodging an application in July 2023. We do not wish to prejudice the adoption of regulations by that deadline.
  • “Like the UK and others, we remain optimistic that together we can make significant progress between now and July 2023 and feel confident by the end of July session next year, we will be significantly advanced.”

July/August 2022


  • “We are clear. We propose to  reconsider the new agenda item given the limited time Chile submitted this for the consideration of the Assembly.”


  • Supported Canada and Pakistan that contractors must not be given the right to speak.


  • Stated that “Chile’s submission for this discussion will derail the 27th session and the roadmap” and that the delegation is cognisant that “there may come a time to discuss this, but Chile’s position will lead to polarization and politicizing of Nauru’s legal right to exploration and exploitation, especially as a pacific state, we cannot support this inclusion, there are elements we need to counter, and we have not prepared.”


  • Called for contractors to be explicitly mentioned alongside observers and members


  • Stated that they did not appreciate NGO attempts to dictate to a member State stating that it is untenable based on the participation of NGOs and that no member State has made such a statement. They added that civil society does not share the State responsibilities and there has to be some respect of State’s treaty obligations. The delegation claimed that this behavior would not be tolerated in the GA and should not be encouraged at the International Seabed Authority.


  • Nauru commented that environmental thresholds are “very important for the protection of the marine environment. We fully support this work.”
  • The delegation stated that “we seek clarification on wording with “public interest”, what are these implications? This is really important to clarify”

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