Two Royal IHC employees were invited by the Dutch government to join its delegation at the 22nd annual International Seabed Authority (ISA) session in Kingston, Jamaica on 12-20 July 2016.
Ms Aleyda Ortega IHC Project Leader Sustainability and Mr Jaco van der Hoeven, IHC Specialist Marine Mining, attended for the fifth year as environmental and technical advisers to Professor Dr René Lefeber, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ms Winifred Broadbelt LLM, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.
In addition to participating in the Assembly and Council meetings, IHC discussed current technology innovations – showcasing a number of projects, such as Blue Mining and Blue Nodules.
IHC also spoke with deep-sea mining contractors, scientists, NGOs and policy makers regarding technological, environmental and compliance issues. These discussions increased the understanding of key issues and the opinions of relevant deep-sea mining stakeholders, particularly on topics such as environmental protection.
During the session, the Netherlands was elected for a further four years into the Council, and has shown its capabilities as an important international player in deep-sea mining activities.
ISA is an autonomous United Nations organisation in which policies and projects for deep-sea mining in international waters are being developed. It has the task of administering and controlling resources across the international seabed.
In the past 15 years, ISA has granted 25 exploration licenses to contractors (sponsored by member states). As one of the stakeholders, IHC is currently working with ISA on the development of legislation for the exploitation of seabed resources.
The structure and performance of ISA will be enhanced as it moves from exploration into the exploitation phase of its work. The first draft of regulations (in which IHC has assisted) has been issued and stakeholders are invited to comment on this working draft.
This is a very important milestone, and it forms the basis of the conditions for full-scale, deep-sea mining operations.