The workshop was held last month.
This Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) regional training and capacity building workshop on deep seabed minerals activities was jointly funded by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
Browne’s participation was fully funded by the ISA and UNDESA.
The new “Abyssal Initiative” aims to strengthen the capacity of PSIDS, including the Cook Islands, to engage in and develop the potential opportunity to sustainably access and benefit from seabed activities in their nation’s waters and in international waters.
This new initiative is part of some international work in line with the “Blue Economy” concept.
The “Blue Economy” is a new global initiative seeking to “increase the long-term benefits of the sustainable use of marine resources for Small Island Developing States and Coastal Least Developed Countries”.
This ISA workshop was the first step in implementing this “Abyssal Initiative” by bringing together representatives of PSIDS and other stakeholders to discuss the potential benefits associated with an increased participation of PSIDS in deep seabed related activities and what would be necessary to ensure that they may all fully and sustainably benefit from such activities.
The workshop addressed a number of important topics with key themes around legal, environmental, and financial regimes, as well as discussions on social impacts and capacity building of PSIDS in the deep-sea minerals sector.
The workshop itself was used as a capacity building exercise by the Seabed Minerals Authority for Browne, who is not only being trained in her profession as GIS officer, but is also being capacity trained in all other areas relating to the new, national seabed minerals sector.