During October-November 2017, Secretary-General Michael Lodge and his staff at the ISA Secretariat have been busy advancing and promoting the work of the ISA. Noteworthy milestones include:
- 15 October 2017. An ISA delegation led by Secretary-General Lodge visited Poland for a series of official meetings
and discussions with the Polish Minister of Environment Mariusz Orion Jędrysek and the Interoceanmetal Joint Organization (IOM) in Szczecin. Talks with Minister Jędrysek focused on the next steps to be taken following the approval by the Council in July 2017, of a Plan of Work for exploration for polymetallic sulphides submitted by the Minister of Environment and the exchange of contracts. Other matters included possible areas for collaboration in the establishment of an Environmental Management Plan for the mid-Atlantic Ridge and the crucial role played by ISA contractors.
- 6 November 2017. HE Hiromasa Yamazaki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, presented his credentials in Kingston, Jamaica to Secretary-General Michael Lodge, as the new Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Seabed Authority.
7 November 2017. Her Excellency Mrs. Inés Fors Fernández, presented her credentials in Kingston, Jamaica to Secretary-General Michael Lodge, as the new Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cuba to the International Seabed Authority.
- 9 November 2017. Secretary-General Lodge hosted a briefing session for Kingston-based Permanent Representatives to the Authority. At the briefing session, the Permanent Representatives were updated on the status of the draft regulations for exploitation for which member States were encouraged to make their submissions before the preferred deadline of 17 November. The participants also discussed ISA’s work on developing a strategic plan.
- 13 November 2017. Secretary-General Lodge spoke to a gathering of civil society leaders hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.
Lodge briefed the D.C. community on the current status of work at the ISA and highlighted a partnership with Pew in relation to workshops on environmental matters held in Berlin and a workshop in Uganda earlier this year – the first ISA workshop to be held in a landlocked developing country. Lodge also acknowledged the DSM Observer, stating that “…in my view [DSM Observer] is doing an excellent job in raising awareness on all sides of the debate.”
- 14 November 2017. Secretary-General Lodge participated in a session on deep seabed mining at the 88th Meeting of the Ocean Studies Board of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Washington, D.C. Following Secretary-General Lodge’s presentation, a panel discussed prospects and perspectives of the emerging deep seabed mining industry. Representatives on the panel included Mark Hannington of GEOMAR, Jennifer Warren of Lockheed-Martin, Cindy Van Dover of Duke University and Conn Nugent, Director, Seabed Mining Project, Pew Charitable Trusts.
22-23 November. Secretary-General Lodge participated in the ”2nd International Blue Economy Dialogue” in Dhaka, Bangladesh and highlighted the role of the ISA in the ocean economy.
On 27 November 2017, the ISA will sign an extension of the Agreement of Exploration Contract with IFREMER in Paris, France.