The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has restated its commitment to assist Nigeria and other African countries in exploring deep-sea resources to boost their blue economy.
The ISA secretary-general, Michael Lodge, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday while addressing a news conference.
Mr Lodge said that ISA was an autonomous organisation mandated by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNLOS) to protect the seabed for the benefit of humankind.
“Concretely, all nations in the world should be able to benefit from the potential of the seabed. It means that effective cooperation and coordination among all ISA stakeholders are prerequisites to ensure sustainable development of activities in the deep seabed,” he explained.
Mr Lodge added, “The ISA is committed to the African Deep Sea Resources (ADSR) project, which aims to build capacity and assist African states, including Nigeria, to better understand the economic potential of deep-sea resources in the ocean. The sustainable development of deep seabed resources located in Africa’s continental shelves and the international seabed area can be a key driver for the development of Africa’s Blue economy.”
According to him, the ADSR project also contributes to the discussions and achievements of Africa’s blue economy in the context of the African Dacade of Sea and Oceans (2015-2025).
Mr Lodge noted that seabed authority, together with the AU and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, developed a series of activities to grow Africa’s blue economy agenda. He said the workshop scheduled between October 5 and 7 aimed to promote sustainable development of Africa’s deep sea resources in support of its blue economy.
“The workshop will be the opportunity to discuss important topics such as legal regime governing the exploration of resources and preservation of the marine environment and maritime delimitation of Nigeria. It will also discuss how to increase regional and international cooperation in support of the sustainable development of Africa’s blue economy,” he explained. “Activities are undertaken in close cooperation with states parties in UNCLOS, relevant international and regional organisations and experts; and will further be expanded through strengthened collaboration with Nigeria and AU.”