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ISA and the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries of Egypt Sign MoU in Support of the Global Deep-Sea Research Agenda

ISA and the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries of Egypt Sign MoU in Support of the Global Deep-Sea Research Agenda

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF) of Egypt have officially signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Joint Regional Training and Research Centre (JTRC) in Alexandria, Egypt. This significant event marks the first visit of ISA Secretary-General to Egypt and a new era of collaboration and development in marine science and technology in the Middle East and Africa.

The memorandum of understanding, initiated following a proposal by the African Group at ISA and approved by the Assembly in July 2023, responds to the growing need for specialized training and research facilities in the region aimed at enhancing capacity development and fostering marine scientific research. It also anchors the contribution of African States to the advancement of strategic priorities identified by the international community through the global deep-sea research agenda adopted by all ISA members (168) in December 2020 in the form of the Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, as well as through the ISA Capacity Development Strategy adopted in 2022.

Building on Article 276 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the ISA-Egypt JTRC offers a unique platform of cooperation between the ISA and its Member States to promote training and capacity-building opportunities and programs developed for nationals of developing States in activities relating to the seabed, stimulate and advance the conduct of marine scientific research by developing States, foster cooperation in marine scientific research and technological development, including, where feasible and appropriate, the transfer of marine technology and increase the participation of developing States in activities in the Area. Importantly, the ISA-Egypt JTRC will also lead the way in developing and implementing specific activities and programs to advance women’s empowerment and leadership in deep-sea research.

The ISA-Egypt JTRC will focus on providing training programs, conducting collaborative research, organizing conferences and seminars, and disseminating research findings.

A steering committee will be established to guide the ISA-Egypt JTRC’s operations, ensuring alignment with the strategic directions of ISA and the needs of the region.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, ISA Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, underscored the importance of international cooperation in catalyzing efforts and synergies to advance deep-sea research and address the capacity development needs of developing States as identified by them.

“This new partnership is the result of many years of cooperation and work, and we are proud to engage with Egypt in this groundbreaking initiative. I am confident that together, ISA and NIOF will be able to leverage innovative and forward-looking activities to achieve a lasting impact on marine scientific research and technology development in the Middle East and Africa,” he said.

Welcoming the formalization of the partnership, the President of NIOF, Prof. Amr Hamouda, underscored the importance of equipping future generations with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the complex challenges facing our marine environments.

“The collaboration between NIOF and ISA represents a powerful alliance of expertise, knowledge and shared vision. Together, they have the capacity to unravel the secrets of the deep sea and develop innovative solutions for sustainable ocean management,” he said. “The ISA-Egypt JTRC in Alexandria will become a beacon of excellence, attracting the brightest minds from Egypt, the African region, the Middle East and around the world. It will be a hub of knowledge-sharing, where scientists, researchers and students converge to exchange ideas, foster innovation and deepen our understanding of the oceans,” he added.

“I am confident that, building on our collective commitment to advancing deep-sea research, the ISA-Egypt JTRC will serve as a hub for oceanographic research, cutting-edge training programs and capacity-building initiatives to effectively empower the next generation of scientists and equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the challenges of our changing world,” he concluded.


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