Fri | Aug 7, 2020

ISA supports ‘Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean’

Published:Sunday | June 14, 2020 | 12:27 AM
Michael Lodge, secretary general of the International Seabed Authority.
Michael Lodge, secretary general of the International Seabed Authority.

Last Monday, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) observed World Oceans Day with the United Nations virtual event ‘Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean’, where leading voices from around the globe convened to celebrate the role of the oceans in everyday life and inspire action to protect the ocean and the sustainable use of marine resources.

World Oceans Day was first introduced in 1992 to raise awareness of the crucial role the sea plays as sources of food, oxygen and medicine. It was officially recognised by the UN in 2008 and catalysed action worldwide.

ISA secretary general Michael W. Lodge took part in a panel discussion on ‘The Blue Economy and Private Sector Impact’, moderated by Scientific American editor Curtis Brainard, where he highlighted the unique contribution of ISA to advancing the Blue Economy through ocean science and development of global regulations.

“One of the most significant contributions of ISA to the Blue Economy has been to harness the power of the exploration industry to gather critical scientific knowledge to inform decision-making processes. It is through this research that we will be able to identify the best measures required to protect the marine environment,” said the secretary general. “Over the past 30 years, there have been more than 800 research cruises to the Clarion-Clipperton Zone alone, totalling more than 6,000 days at sea.”


The secretary general highlighted ISA’s second major contribution to the Blue Economy as the unique legal system developed to manage sustainable development of mineral resources in the international deep seabed area – a truly global regulatory framework that applies the highest environmental and operational standards.

“Seabed mining is a new industry but one that promises great benefits for the world, as well as risks that need to be managed. Never before have we had the opportunity to put the regulatory framework in place before a new industry begins. We are doing this through a collaborative process, with full participation of stakeholders, and with environmental protection at the centre,” he said.

“I hope everyone will join us in these efforts and together deliver a Blue Economy that is fair to everyone.”