Арктика и Север (Mar 2019)

Future work of the International Seabed Authority in the context of the Arctic governance

  • Andrey A. Todorov

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 34
pp. 73 – 89


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The article studies the history, legal framework of the International Seabed Authority, its functions, structure and current work. The analysis focuses on potential fields of ISA activity in the Arctic. Despite the ongoing expert discussions, the author is of the view that Part XI of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, setting out the legal basis for the governance of the Area resources and the work of ISA, applies to the Arctic Ocean like to any other part of the world ocean. The primary function of ISA is to regulate exploration and exploitation of deep seabed non-living resources beyond national jurisdiction. Apart from that, ISA will be engaged in other issues — implementation of the UNCLOS provisions on the payments by the coastal states concerning the exploitation of non-living resources on the outer continental shelf, coordination of marine scientific research in the Area, dissemination of its results, etc. Moreover, in the future, ISA could play a significant role in the integrated cross-border and cross-sectoral ecosystem governance of the Arctic Ocean.