Overline: IASS/UBA Dialogue Meeting with German stakeholders:
Headline: The Principle of the ‘Common Heritage of Mankind’ and its implications for the Exploitation Regulations of the ISA

A second dialogue meeting, jointly organised by UBA and IASS, took place at IASS on November 15, 2016. 21 participants from science, ministries and advisory bodies, NGOs and other stakeholders discussed the ‘Common Heritage of Mankind’ Principle in context with the globally adopted sustainability agenda (UN Agenda 2030). The issue was whether and if yes how the implementation of the Principle could be adjusted to today´s need for a balanced approach to ecosystem protection and use. The reason for raising the discussion at this point is the ongoing development of the regulations for the exploitation of mineral resources in the Area. The Common Heritage Principle should be reflected throughout the upcoming regulations - which is so far not the case.

The dialogue meeting addressed the topic from two angles. The first looked at the the legal environment, the formulation of the CHM principle in the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This included presentations on the historic background, current implementation, interrelations with other principles of international law, and possible links to the ongoing work of the preparatory commission for a possible Implementation Agreement on Biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The other angle tried to explore the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of CHM, including a presentation of IASS (Kate Houghton) on problems with the current benefit-sharing mechanism.

A workshop summary provides an overview of the discussions, and a IASS Policy Brief, produced together with workshop participants destills a number of recommendations to the International Seabed Authority for future regulation and management.