11 July 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) has achieved consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Committee as of April this year.
This new status allows the ICPC to
appoint United Nations representatives who in turn can make
written and oral statements and organise side events at
relevant United Nations meetings.
The ICPC says it intends to use its new status to be the
'voice of the submarine cable community’ at the
United Nations. Such positions are particularly important in
the context of the negotiations of a new treaty for the
protection of biodiversity beyond national
An intergovernmental conference starts in September, which
could result in the adoption of a new treaty imposing global
restrictions on high seas activities, such as environmental
impact assessments and marine protected areas. The
ICPC’s participation aims at avoiding any undue
restriction on the freedom to lay and maintain submarine cables
in the high seas.
The ICPC brings its evidence-based knowledge of the benign
environmental impact, and immense socio-economic value, of
submarine cables to the United Nations and has already
presented the results of the study undertaken by Dr Richard
Hale, of EGS Survey Group, on the acoustic footprint of cable
operations during a panel session of the Informal Consultative
Process. The ICPC will continue to support research and share
its findings with the global community.
In related news, Paulo Moura of MainOne, also an ICPC Member
organisation and submarine cable owner, represented the ICPC at
the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA)—Atlantic
Seabed Mapping International Working Group (ASMIWG) in May.
During the conference the AORA ASMIWG team discussed mapping
the seabed in the North and South Atlantic. With no official
deadline, but with government funding and important data
received from the private sector, the ASMIWG aims to finish the
work in the North Atlantic over the next few years.
In the interest of 'sharing the seabed in harmony with
others,’ the ASMIWG will liaise with the ICPC
to request data from its members for their consideration in
The International Cable Protection Committee,