Sun | Sep 22, 2019

Holness urges ISA members to protect maritime resources

Published:Friday | July 26, 2019 | 12:52 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) walks with Michael Lodge, secretary general of the International Seabed Authority, at a special session of the 25th assembly of the International Seabed Authority at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday to commemorate ISA’s 25th anniversary.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) walks with Michael Lodge, secretary general of the International Seabed Authority, at a special session of the 25th assembly of the International Seabed Authority at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday to commemorate ISA’s 25th anniversary.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday called on member states of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to demonstrate their recommitment to the preservation of global maritime resources.

Holness was addressing delegates from more than 160 countries who gathered at the Jamaica Conference Centre to discuss international maritime matters at the 25th assembly of the ISA.

“Noting the ongoing rapid deterioration of the global maritime environment, I call on all member states to recommit to the preservation and equitable utilisation of maritime resources,” Holness encouraged delegates. “A healthy ocean is vital for effectively addressing the impact of climate change and sustaining the lives and livelihood of our people. Urgent action is required, therefore, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in keeping with the Paris Agreement.”

The Paris Agreement is a multination accord within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and deals with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance.

Holness also said that it was imperative that member states mobilise and unlock climate financing.

“This will require focused attention as we approach the UN Climate [Action] Summit in September as well as the COP 25 (a UN climate change convention) in December,” he said.

Holness also called on ISA member states to practise responsible mining.

“Looking ahead to the next 25 years, member states must prepare for responsible mining of the resources. While exploitation promises socio-economic benefits, this must proceed on the basis of appropriate regulations, standards, and guidelines that ensure the effective protection of the maritime environment. The authority must also increase its visibility and [ensure that] the public understands the importance of its work,” Holness said.

The prime minister indicated that Jamaica would be seeking re-election to the Council of International Maritime Organisation, of which it has been a member since 2017.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com