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The Role of the International Seabed Authority

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers whether an expanded mandate should be given to the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to regulate all activities, including bioprospecting, in the deep sea. It commences by examining the extent of the ISA’s existing mandate with respect to the marine environment. The work of the ISA to date in fulfilling that mandate is then critically examined. The chapter also examines a possible role for the ISA in contributing to the creation of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on the high seas. In that respect the ability of the ISA to designate ‘de-facto’ MPAs in accordance with its existing mandate is considered. Finally, a brief examination of the ISA’s existing structure highlights difficulties that might be encountered should an expanded mandate be granted to the ISA.

Keywords: bioprospecting; de-facto marine protected areas(MPAs); International Seabed Authority (ISA)



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