Webinar: Fair and Equitable Deep Seabed Mining – sharing deep seabed mining’s financial and other benefits

On 16 June 2022, Volterra Fietta hosted a virtual seminar on Fair and Equitable Deep Seabed Mining – sharing deep seabed mining’s financial and other benefits.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) activities in the Area, i.e., the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, must be carried out for the benefit of mankind as a whole.  It is the International Seabed Authority (“ISA”) that is entrusted with the highly complex task of ensuring the equitable sharing of financial and other economic benefits of deep seabed mining.

This seminar addressed the various issues arising from the fair and equitable distribution of deep seabed mining’s financial and other benefits, including as they pertain to the notion of equitable distribution, the transfer of technology, the Enterprise and the Deep Seabed Mining Code.

The speakers for this seminar were:

Mr Eden Charles, Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago and Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the ISA for the Enterprise.  Mr Charles has more than 20 years of expertise in negotiation, international law and multilateral diplomacy.  He was an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Deputy Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the UN.  He has also been appointed as Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the conclusion of a new international legally binding agreement under the UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction.  At present, Mr Charles is the Chairman of the Advisory Board, UK Research and Innovation GCFR One Ocean Hub.  He is also on the Legal Experts Committee of the newly established Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law.  Highlights of his publications include “The Enterprise under the 1982 UNCLOS and the Common Heritage of Mankind” and “Common heritage of mankind and the deep seabed area beyond national jurisdiction: past, current, and future prospects”.

Professor Dale Squires, Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of California San Diego. He has decades of experience in marine and natural resource economics across the globe, He has worked with the ISA and the deep-seabed industry and environmental stakeholders on the payment regime, incentive-based approaches to environmental regulation, and the fair and equitable allocation of deep-seabed mining royaltiies. He is the co-author of eleven books and 150 peer-reviewed scholarly papers. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in applied economics from the University of California Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Mr Thembile Joyini, Vice Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission of the International Seabed Authority.  He also serves as Legal Counsellor for the South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.  He was the Chief State Law Adviser (International Law) for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa from 2008-2013.  In that capacity, he attended ISA meetings as (advisor to) the head of the delegation and participated in the negotiations of the mining code for deep seabed mining.  Mr Joyini has also chaired and negotiated on behalf of the Group of 77 and China during South Africa’s chairship of the Group in 2015, in his capacity as the leader of the South African delegation.

Ms Florentine Vos, Senior Associate at Volterra Fietta.  Ms Vos advises States, international organisations and private clients on issues of public international law and international dispute settlement, including before the International Court of Justice and in investor-State arbitration.  Her expertise covers a wide array of public international law topics, including the law on the sea, such as dispute resolution under UNCLOS, maritime boundary delimitation and deep seabed mining.  She also publishes and speaks regularly on legal issues concerning deep seabed mining.

For any queries regarding the content of the seminar, please email