The Cook Islands is at an important juncture in the development of its seabed minerals; a potentially highly lucrative resource. Throughout 2009 and 2010, the Government of the Cook Islands (GOCI) received legal and technical assistance from the Secretariat’s Economic and Legal Section.
With this assistance, the new national legislation, the Seabed Minerals Act 2010, was enacted by Parliament in February 2010. Once in force, it provided for the establishment of a statutory authority, the Seabed Minerals Authority (SMA), to regulate this new economic sector in keeping with standard global practice in the administration of extractive industries.
To facilitate the sustainable development and management of the Cook Islands' seabed minerals, a potentially lucrative resource.
This project will facilitate the establishment of an appropriately functioning regulatory body, and will provide capacity building and tools to facilitate the successful regulation of the industry.
The direct beneficiay of this project is the SBMA, which benefits from advice and capacity building support in operationalising the Act along with supporting policies, guidelines and regulations.
Regulations under the Act as well as seabed mineral mining monitoring and inspection protocols and procedures are also being developed to support the wider regulatory environment.
The project is expected to have a significant impact upon the development of the potentially highly-lucrative seabed mineral deposits of the Cook Islands, with significant potential positive implications for the future sustainable development of the country, through the contribution to economic development resulting from revenue generated.
This project will complement previous and ongoing technical and legal assistance provided to the GOCI in this area by the Secretariat’s Oceans and Natural Resources Division (ONRD). The project will enable the GOCI to maximise the effectiveness of their limited national financial resources, with the subsequent regulation of the industry being expected to be financed through the revenue it generates.