DOSI BLOG from 22nd ISA Session, Jamaica


One of the priority issues that the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) aims to address is the urgent need to develop environmental management strategies for international deep-sea habitats targeted for mineral extraction ( DOSI has taken a significant step towards this goal with newly-granted observer status from the International Seabed Authority (ISA) at its twenty-second session on 12 July 2016 (IBSA/22/A/INF.6). As observers, DOSI can now attend public ISA meetings and submit statements for review by the secretariat. These new privileges support the DOSI mission to integrate science, technology, policy, law, and economics in order to advise on resource management in the deep ocean and on strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems.

The first DOSI contingent to attend the ISA session consists of Dr. Maria Baker (University of Southampton), Phillip Turner (Duke University), and Jennifer Le (Scripps Institution of Oceanography). They are joined by fellow DOSI members representing various other organizations at this years session, including Kristina Gjerde  and Torsten Thiel (IUCN), Jeffrey Ardron (Commonwealth Secretariat), Matthew Gianni (Deep Sea Conservation Coalition) and Daniel Jones (UK Delegation). DOSI members represent a wide variety of expertise working towards the common goal of deep-ocean stewardship.

The first week of DOSI attendance at the ISA session consisted of Council sessions and several side-events by different organizations. The Council sessions discussed several agenda items, including conflict between marine scientific research and contractor activities ( Side-events included:

*       Nautilus Minerals (Renee Grogan): Stakeholder engagement and the relationship between proponents and sponsor states
*       JPI Oceans (Matthias Haeckel, Daniel Jones, Antje Boetius, Ann Vanreusel): Long-term impacts of polymetallic nodule mining, and recent and current research in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone
*       International Cable Protection Committee (Graham Evans, Kent Bressie): Submarine cables and the importance of coordination between different deep-seabed stakeholders
*       Global Sea Mineral Resources (Kris Van Nijen): GSR progress during recent cruises and activities in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone
*       Pew Charitable Trust: Workshop on enhancing stakeholder participation and transparency in the ISA process

Side-events are a recent introduction to the ISA sessions and are proving to be an important conduit for organizations to present their research and progress, scientific or otherwise, to other stakeholders and delegates. DOSI hopes to continue its participation at the ISA sessions and expand its reach with its own DOSI side-event next year. As the twenty-second session continues into its second week, the DOSI contingent (both official and unofficial) will continue to promote deep-ocean stewardship during these crucial times for seabed mining and the marine environment.

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