BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Law of the Sea

According to the Convention on the Law of the Sea the resources that can be found beyond national jurisdiction are regarded as heritance of mankind. To supervise, regulate and control their use the International Seabed Authority (ISA) of the United Nations was established in Jamaica. Currently, the International Seabed Authority has to deal mainly with the subject of exploiting nodular manganese deposits. Its main tasks are the licensing of potential nodular manganese resources and the drawing up of international legally binding regulations and codes of conduct, that have to be followed by licence holders. The Legal and Technical Commission plays a leading role in determining regulations, limiting values and allowed techniques for the deep-sea mining. The commission advises the International Seabed Authority as well as the involved decision-making committees of the United Nations. The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources actively participates in the work of these committees and also supports the work of the International Seabed Authority, by assisting them in workshops and advisory services.
One of the main organs of the ISA is the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC). During the 22nd session of the Authority in July 2016, the german geophysicist Dr. Christian Reichert was re-elected as member of the LTE for the period 2017 to 2021. He is a member of the LTE since 2008 and acted as its chair since 2015. The LTE advises the Assembly and the Council of ISA on all matters relating to exploration and exploitation of non-living marine resources. The main tasks of the LTE 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.

Membership of the Legal and Technical CommissionMembership of the Legal and Technical Commission Source:

Currently, Germany holds two exploration licenses granted from the ISA. Within this framework, BGR investigates manganes nodules in the Central Pacific as well as polymetallic sulphides in the Indian Ocean.

Contact 1:

Dr. Christian Reichert
Phone: +49-(0)511-643-3244
Fax: +49-(0)511-643-533244

Contact 2:


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