Research News

Launch of Regional Exchange Platform in the Pacific

The State Secretariat for the Sea has entrusted the Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) with carrying out a collective scientific expertise on the issues of knowledge and governance of the deep seabed. In this context, the IRD is organizing a regional exchange platform on this theme in the Pacific.

Made up of a committee of experts, bringing together fourteen scientists from different research organizations (IRD, CNRS, IFREMER, MNHN) and three universities (Sorbonne, Bretagne Occidentale and Versailles-Saint-Quentin), and coordinated by Pierre-Yves Le Meur and Valelia Muni Toke, anthropologists at the IRD, the Deep Sea expertise pursues two major objectives:

  • Take stock of knowledge relating to the deep seabed, their current and future uses and their proven and potential impacts, as well as the governance mechanisms for these spaces;
  • Produce recommendations for national deep-sea policy.

The provisional results of this expertise will be presented at the United Nations Ocean Conference in June 2025 in Nice. The final results will be published by IRD in open access in early 2026.

Given the importance of the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of French territories and international waters in the Pacific Ocean and the diversity of positions of the countries of the region in terms of deep seabed policy, the IRD highlights places an exchange platform in this area which will bring together participants from different countries and territories of the Pacific Islands.

This platform aims to:

  • Collectively share the experiences, skills, know-how, uses, visions, projects, perspectives and expectations of each person in this area;
  • Discuss the diversity of governance methods for the deep seabed;
  • Fuel the reflection of collective expertise, the results of which will also be returned to representatives of Pacific countries and territories;
  • Provide a neutral space for exchanges between the various representatives of Pacific island countries and territories on the issue of the deep seabed.

There will be two meetings held to combine the points of view of all the Pacific stakeholders concerned (governments, technical services, customary authorities, civil society, NGOs and regional organizations). The first, in which Gilles Pecassou, Deputy Director General of the IRD, participated, already took place in Nouméa from March 19 to 21, 2024 and provided an overview and clarification of the main issues of the deep seabed. A second meeting will subsequently take place in French Polynesia, in December 2024.


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