SPC Geoscience Division

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With interest in the region for seabed mineral exploration intensifying, Dr. Russell Howorth, Director SPC/SOPAC Division has sounded a cautionary note during his opening remarks at the International Workshop on Environmental Management Needs for Exploration and Exploitation of Deep Seabed Minerals now taking place in Nadi from November 29 through December 2.  

He noted that this interest was not only within the sovereign 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Pacific Island countries, but also within international waters.

The workshop is being jointly organised by SOPAC, a division of SPC and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to focus attention on seabed mineral exploration and to establish environmental needs in developing deep-sea mining strategies.

ISA has been mandated with signatories of 162 countries to manage the mineral resources of the international seabed beyond areas under national jurisdiction.

The importance of the workshop was highlighted with the presence of Mr. Nii Allotey Odunton, Secretary General of the International Seabed Authority who was accorded Fijian welcome ceremonies at the beginning of the proceedings.