The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has restated its commitment to assist Nigeria and other African countries on exploration of their deep sea resources to boost their blue economy.
The ISA’s Secretary General, Mr Michael Lodge made this known in at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
He said ISA is an autonomous international organisation mandated by the United Nations (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 prerequisite to ensure sustainable development of activities in the deep seabed.
“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 economy potential of deep-sea resources in the deep ocean.
“The sustainable development of deep seabed resources located in Africa’s continental shelves and in the international seabed area could be a key driver for the development of Africa’ Blue Economy.
“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),” Lodge said.
Lodged explained that ISA together with the African Union (AU) and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) have developed a series of activities to the development of Africa’s blue economy agenda.
“The workshop organised here in Abuja from 5 to 7 of October is aimed to promote the sustainable development of Africa’s deep sea resources in support of Africa’s blue economy.
“The main objectives are to strengthen capacity in order to promote the effective participation of developing states in deep sea exploration and to ensure that the benefits of marine science and technologies are distributed equitably.
“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, the maritime delimitation of Nigeria.
“And also, how to increase regional and international cooperation in support of the sustainable development of Africa’s blue economy.
“Activities are undertaken in close cooperation with states parties in UNCLOS, relevant international and regional organisations and experts; and will further be expanded through strengthen collaboration with the Government of Nigeria and AU,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that those at the event include Dr Maureen Tamuno, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria in ISA, Dr Marie Borrel-Mckinnon and Dr Sonakshi Nistira, both from ISA.
Others are Mr Nurudeen Abbah from National Boundary Commission, Mrs Theresa Onu and Mr Danlami Ibrahim, both from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs Talatu Akindolire from ISA. (NAN)