The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
It's headquarter is located in Kingston, Jamaica and was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans.
Functions of ISA
- Marine scientific research in the international seabed Area through its Endowment Fund by supporting the participation of qualified scientists and technical personnel from developing countries in marine scientific research programmes and activities and by providing opportunities to these scientists to participate in relevant initiatives;
- Workshops on the scientific and technical nature of its work relating to the deep seabed mining of minerals, the environmental impacts of such exploration and how the data and information collected by the various scientific institutions can be standardized and shared with its member States;
- Regional sensitization seminars on issues associated with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the work of the Authority and on marine mineral resources to bring together experts from the international legal and scientific community with national and regional government officials, scientists, researchers and academics to discuss scientific research on marine minerals and propose mechanisms for improving regional cooperation in scientific research and marine mineral development; and
- The ISA/Contractors Training programme whereby each ISA contractor is required to propose a training programme for nationals of developing states.
- Stakeholder Surveys to solicit relevant information for the development of a regulatory framework for the exploitation of minerals in the Area from members of the Authority and current and future stakeholders.
Governing Bodies of ISA
- Assembly: It sets general policies, establishes budgets, and elects a 36-member council, which serves as the ISA’s executive authority.
- Council: It approves contracts with private corporations and government entities for exploration and mining in specified areas of the international seabed, oversees implementation of the seabed provisions of the Convention on the Law of the Sea, and establishes provisional rules and procedures (subject to approval by the assembly) by which the ISA exercises its regulatory authority.
- Secretary-General: It is nominated by the council and is elected by the assembly to a four-year term. It supervises and co-ordinates the work of the Secretariat in the implementation of policies, external relations, protocol matters, liaison and representation of the Authority.