THE Pacific continues to play a significant role in the International Seabed Authority.
Director of the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of Secretariat of the Pacific Community Dr Russell Howorth has been elected chairman of the ISA's Legal and Technical Commission.
Fiji's permanent representative to the UN Peter Thomson is the ISA president, while a former Fiji ambassador Satya Nand is the authority's first secretary general.
"In his capacity as chairman of the Legal and Technical Commission, Dr Howorth presides over a 25-member council that is entrusted with functions relating to activities in the international seabed," a statement said.
"Included in these are the review of applications for plans of work, supervision of exploration or mining activities and the assessment of the environmental impact of such activities.
"The commission also provides advice to the International Seabed Authority's Assembly and Council on all matters relating to exploration and exploitation of non-living marine resources (such as polymetallic nodules, polymetallic (sulphides and cobalt crusts)."
While Dr Howorth's term on the Legal and Technical Commission is for five years, his chairmanship is for the coming year.