Dhaka seeks ISA’s increased support to tap seabed resources


Bangladesh's permanent representative to the United Nations in New York ambassador Rabab Fatima has said the vast and unexplored resource frontiers of the seabed have the potential to bring transformative changes in the lives and livelihoods of billions of people, including those of Bangladesh.

"As such, we need enhanced cooperation from the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in the field of marine scientific research, capacity building and access to marine technology to reap the full benefit of seabed resources," she said while speaking at the Assembly of the 26th Annual Session of ISA in Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday.

Referring to prime minister Sheikh Hasina's vision to transform Bangladesh into a developed country by 2041, Ambassador Rabab Fatima stressed the need to ensure equitable share of the financial benefit of seabed resources from ISA and facilitate public-private sector investment of Bangladesh in this area to fast-pace our development journey.

The permanent representative underscored the importance of the protection of the marine environment while exploring minerals from the seabed.

On that note, she shared with the assembly about Maritime Zones Law of Bangladesh enacted recently for the efficient utilisation, conservation, and protection of marine environment and its resources.

The Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the ISA. Its 26th annual session, which began on 13 December, is scheduled to end on Wednesday.

Ambassador Fatima, also the permanent representative of Bangladesh to the ISA, attended the meeting at the invitation of its secretary-general Michael W Lodge.

The meeting was attended by a significant number of ambassadors and permanent representatives of the states parties. Rear Admiral (retd) Md Khurshed Alam, secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is also serving as the current President of the Council of the ISA.