UNCLOS – The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

UNCLOS is a major international treaty that was adopted and signed in 1982. It provides rules, principles and guidelines for virtually every ocean use. UNCLOS was created after years of increased concern and debate on how to manage the resources in the ocean floor beyond national jurisdiction. UNCLOS addressed these concerns by dividing the ocean into different jurisdictional zones, three of which are relevant to mineral development: the EEZ (see definition of EEZ), the Continental Shelf, and the International Seabed Area (or simply, the Area) which is under ISA jurisdiction (see definition for ISA). The treaty remains the backbone of international law to this day.