Elected to the International Seabed Authority
06/09/2022 Senior geologist and former Director of Exploration in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), Sissel Eriksen, has been elected as a member of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) for the International Seabed Authority (ISA).
The election was confirmed on 24 August 2022, and Eriksen has been elected for the 2023-2027 term. Members of the Commission are chosen based on their personal capacity; Norway was not assigned a seat on the Commission. Harald Brekke from the NPD has finished his time on the Commission after two terms.
Eriksen says that it is very exciting to get this opportunity to work on international issues at the Seabed Authority. She explains that the Commission has an important role to play in ensuring prudent and knowledge-based management of mineral resources with robust environmental standards, in the best interests of humanity.
"This is a venue where I can use my experience from Norwegian management of petroleum resources and marine minerals on the Norwegian continental shelf. It's an important arena for Norway, and I look forward to getting started on this work," she says.
The vast deep sea areas outside the states' national jurisdiction make up the international seabed area.
The ISA was established to manage and administer mineral deposits in these areas in line with requirements in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and to facilitate extraction of these minerals.
The Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) is an advisory expert body that contributes analyses and a basis for decision-making for the ISA’s activities.
Norway considers the ISA to be an important arena for international maritime stewardship.
“The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has an important mandate under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to ensure joint and sustainable stewardship of mineral resources on the international seabed. Norway has prioritised and participated actively in the ISA's work since its inception in 1994. I'm very happy that Sissel Eriksen has been elected to the Commission», says Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt (Labour).
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea establishes that mineral resources in the international seabed area are part of the common heritage of mankind, and that a share of the profits from mineral extraction must go to developing countries.
It is presumed that minerals from the deep-water areas could be significant for achieving the energy transition. So far, the ISA has adopted exploration regulations for seabed minerals, and is now working on regulations for extracting minerals. Only then will it be possible to start commercial mineral extraction.
"I'm very pleased to see that Sissel has been elected to the Commission. This is also a recognition of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and our expertise, and I'm proud of that," says Interim Director General Torgeir Stordal.