WMU Contributes to Deep Seabed Mining Discussions
The International Conference on Legal, Scientific and Economic Aspects of Deep Seabed Mining took place at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in Kingston, Jamaica from 14-16 November. The historic event marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the ISA, as well as the coming into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The conference was jointly co-hosted by the ISA and the Center of Ocean Law and Policy at the University of Virginia School of Law in conjunction with the World Maritime University, the Centre of International Law Singapore, the Korean Maritime Institute and the Institute for China-America Studies.
Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU) contributed to the discussions by speaking at a side event on the Deep Sea, as well as moderating a panel on Innovative Thinking in Capacity-Building.
Professor Ronan Long, Director of the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute delivered a paper on the normative basis for capacity-building under UNCLOS and related instruments including the 1994 Implementation Agreement, as well as exploring the opportunities for a paradigm shift under the draft Agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ).
In her remarks, President Doumbia-Henry highlighted the important role of the ISA in regulating the use of ocean mineral resources as well as in capacity-building in a global collective effort to protect and conserve the ocean in line with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. She emphasized the need for human, material and institutional capacity and the importance of recognizing that each country and region has specific capacity needs that are unique. In addition, that empowering women in professional and scientific disciplines is key to effective capacity building.
“We stand at a transformative time in human history, where our own existence is marked with unprecedented challenges. It is more crucial than ever that we understand our relationship with the ocean, anticipate future challenges, and identify solutions and mitigation measures. there is only one ocean and we must manage it sustainably for the future of humanity,” said President Doumbia-Henry.
The conference provided a platform for rigorous legal analysis of the regulatory code underpinning the work of the ISA over the past 25 years and brought together jurists from the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, distinguished diplomats and practitioners, along with world renowned scholars and experts from the legal and scientific community. Secretary-General Michael Lodge in his closing address noted the vital future role that the World Maritime University can play in assisting the ISA in delivering its capacity-building mission in important areas such as the empowerment of women scientists for the United Nations Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.