JAMAICA, Kingston (25 January 2017) - - The International Seabed Authority today issued a Discussion Paper to advance stakeholder discussion in connection with the development and drafting of Regulations on Exploitation for Mineral Resources in the Area (Environmental Matters) – so-named “Environmental Regulations”.
The Discussion Paper sets out the background to the drafting process, including the approach taken and a presentation of the issues and challenges arising for further consideration. The Paper also includes a first, but tentative, working draft of the Environmental Regulations as a starting point for subsequent discussion with the Authority’s stakeholder base.
The Discussion Paper and first working draft will be presented to the Legal and Technical Commission for consideration at its first meeting of the 23rd Session of the Authority between 20 February and 3 March 2017. Following this meeting, a consultation document, including the working draft, will be issued taking into account the views of the Commission.
At this point, the Commission will formally invite members of the Authority and all stakeholders to comment on the consultation paper and working draft Environmental Regulations issued by the Commission. It is also expected that consideration of the working draft and its regulatory language will form the principal item for discussion at an international workshop on the ISA Environmental Management Strategy for the Area to be held in Berlin, Germany from 19-24 March 2017.
At the February meeting, the Commission will also consider stakeholder submissions received in connection with the working draft of the “Exploitation Regulations” issued for stakeholder comment in July 2016.
Any revised working draft, reflecting such submissions and observations of the Commission will be made available to stakeholders following the Commission’s meeting, together with the Commission’s proposals in respect of the next steps towards regulatory development.