On a visit to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) offices in Port Harcourt to present the benefits of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) brings to the Commission and its region, Ambassador Dr. Maureen Tamuno, Nigeria’s representative to the International Seabed Authority (ISA), called on the NDDC to participate in ISA activities for the advantage of the residents of the Niger Delta. Dr. Tamuno, who also Chaired the National Steering Committee of Africa Deep Seabed Resources project (ADSR), was aided to the NDDC headquarters by Mr. Nurudeen Abba, the ADSR Committee Secretary and the Director of Maritime Boundaries at the National Boundary Commission, and also by Commander Abdulsallam Mohammed, the representative of the Nigerian Navy, Hydrographer on the ADSR Committee.
Also, Dr. Tamuno serves as the High Commissioner of Nigeria to the Dominican Republic, Belize, Haiti, and Jamaica. Speaking further on the reason for the visit, she explained that she came to the region because it is a coastal place, and she is a daughter of the land. The visit is intended to educate the leadership of the NDDC about the International Seabed Authority, its initiatives, and its mission of ensuring the preservation of the marine ecosystem from harmful practices, which includes the region as a component of it.
ISA will see to all coastal activities and regulations.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Sea law, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) was established as an intergovernmental institution. Its mission is to ensure the responsible administration of efforts to explore and extract minerals from the seafloor and ocean bed outside the conventional limits of national jurisdiction called the “Area”. Prospecting, exploring, and extracting marine mineral resources all fall under its regulatory scope. It also encourages states to work together for peaceful purposes when utilizing the ocean floor and the deep seabed.
The Authority’s headquarter is located in Jamaica, where the regular meetings of the Legal and Technical Commission are held. All state members of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea are part of the authority. The Deliberative Council, also known as the Council of the Authority, represents the members. The ISA was created to regulate and direct activities there to guarantee that any exploration or utilization of the Area’s mineral deposits is done for legitimate reasons and in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. In addition to environmental standards and specific criteria on agreements and technology transfer, the authority has set guidelines and procedures for authorized operations.
Guidance on the best utilization of coastal environments will be ensured.
It also has the direct duty of encouraging marine technology investment, development, and use inside the Area. The ISA actively examines the deep sea and its ecosystem for research purposes. More so, it provides guidance to the UN General Assembly on how to best protect and sustainably utilize the coastal environment in the region. Among these are the dissemination of scientific data and information, the preservation of the marine natural systems, and the administration and control of available resources.
The ISA had also founded a Minerals Development Fund to ensure the continuous and proper exploitation of the area’s mineral resources. This fund is designed to cover the costs of conducting research and surveys and implement other activities connected to exploiting the resources located in the Area. Also, the ISA works to encourage international collaboration between the states that are members of the convention as well as non-state entities in order to guarantee that access to and involvement in the Area is conducted in a manner that is both safe and fair.
More collaboration and partnership will be sought to improve the region.
In response, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, Managing Director of the NDDC, commended Ambassador Dr. Tamuno for reintroducing progress to Nigeria. According to him, they’re looking for partnerships and collaborations that can help the region progress. He noted that they are interested in accelerating development in the Niger Delta, so the plan is to examine the idea and determine how it might best help its residents. In addition, Mr. Charles Ogunmola, the Executive Director of Projects for the NDDC as well as several Directors of the organization, were available during the visit.