19 Jul 2019

Fiji legal veteran off to the International Seabed Authority

11:53 am on 19 July 2019

The outgoing Nauru justice secretary, Graham Leung, has joined the International Seabed Authority.

The ISA is responsible, under the Law of the Sea Convention, for managing the seabed and ocean floor beyond national jurisdiction.

The Authority is spearheading efforts to finalise regulations for mining, which are expected to be adopted in late 2020.

The Authority has granted Nauru Ocean Resources Inc, a subsidiary of a Canadian company Deep Green Metals, an exploration licence to enable it to explore the ocean floor in the Clarion Clipperton Zone.

The zone is a vast part of the northern Pacific.

The ISA has been strongly criticised this week by environmental groups who have called for a 20-year moratorium on seabed mining.

The environmentalists claim the ISA is too closely linked with mining companies.

The ISA has stressed that its aim is to ensure the 'sustainable management of a global public good for present and future generations.'

Mr Leung, before taking up a role in Nauru, held a number of positions in Fiji including as president of the Fiji Law Society.