African Countries Urged To Work Together In Offshore Mineral Exploration

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PRETORIA, March 18 (BERNAMA-NNN-SA NEWS) — South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant, has urged African countries to share the potential benefits of mineral exploitation in the international seabed, as well as in relevant marine research projects.

“It is also important to be fully aware of the opportunities for capacity-Building and technology transfer provided by contractors as part of their obligations for mineral exploration in the international deep seabed, as well as by the Authority’s Endowment Fund for Marine Scientific Research,” he adds.

Speaking at a seminar on the work of the International Seabed Authority here Monday, he said Africa’s total length of coastline, including its islands, was more than 26,000 nautical miles. Thirty-eight African countries are either coastal or island states.

Oliphant said a move towards more sustained economic growth using the deep seabed required the expansion and integration of marine research across borders and among all stakeholders.

“Sharing of knowledge, pooling of existing research and new technology development are essential for developing, strengthening and implementing deep-sea research. The world demand for minerals continues to increase and some terrestrial resources are becoming depleted,” he added.

He said the sharing of information and scientific data as well as the transfer of knowledge through training programmes and other capacity-building measures, as provided for in Articles 242 and 244 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), are a form of benefit-sharing.

“The regime governing the outer-continental shelf may also assist in defining possible options for a benefit-sharing regime linked to produce development of scientific research based on sampling activities in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction,” Oliphant said.

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