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SPC Focusses on 7 PICs to Strengthen Maritime Boundaries in the Region

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SPC focuses on 7 PICs to strengthen Maritime Boundaries

21 Aug 2017 | Suva

The Pacific Community (SPC) aims to focus on 7 Pacific Island Countries (PICs), who have yet to negotiate their portions of the maritime boundaries, over the next five years.

Currently, SPC provides technical advice and support to 14 PICs that enable them to formalise their maritime boundaries through treaties. This contributes towards securing ocean resources for PICs and ensures their peaceful coexistence.

The technical work provided by SPC includes the delineation of territorial seas (12M), contiguous zone (24M) and Exclusive Economic Zone (200M) limit using accurately defined territorial sea baselines based on hydrographic charts, topographical maps, satellite images, and geodetic surveys.

SPC’s Deputy Director General for the Suva Office, Dr Audrey Aumua said that SPC and our partners will continue to support the maritime boundary aspirations of PICs.

“What this entails is PICs declaring territorial sea baselines and the outer limits of maritime zones in national legislations and then depositing this information with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)”.

These boundaries and treaties are also necessary for monitoring, control and surveillance of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the region. The process of delimiting maritime zones and boundaries empowers PICs to control activities for management of marine resources contributing to improving global and regional ocean governance.

SPC is leading a successful international collaborative effort to fulfil one of the region’s key strategic priorities embedded in the Pacific Ocean scape Framework. The recruitment of the new Maritime Boundaries Adviser, Mr Malakai Vakautawale, is an example of how SPC is prioritising the maritime boundary activities in the region.

Mr Vakautawale will work with the SPC’s Maritime Boundaries Team and its regional partners and the 14 PICs.

SPC’s partners include Geoscience Australia, Australian Attorney General’s Department, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and United Nations Environmental Program GRID Arendal.

This partnership is an effective mechanism to address maritime boundary issues and to safeguard the sovereign rights of PICs.

 

Media Contact:

Molly Powers, Acting Coordinator Ocean and Tides Knowledge Unit |  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 September 2017 10:38  

Newsflash

The annual Pacific Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing (GIS/RS) User Conference will be held from Tuesday 25 - 27 November, 2014 in Suva.

The Conference will be held at the Japan Pacific ICT Centre located at the University of the South Pacific (USP), Laucala Campus and will be opened by the Permanent Secretary of Lands, Mr Tevita Boseiwaqa and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division Director, Professor Michael Petterson.

The theme of the 2014 Conference is “Empowering Pacific Communities through Improved Geospatial Data” where more than 200 participants are expected to converge.

The three-day conference will include plenary presentations and technical sessions to address themes that include but are not limited to using GIS in forestry and landcover, coastal and marine, spatial open source data, disasters, geodetic infrastructure, utilities, and education with case studies from Pacific Island countries. The conference will also showcase the latest technology and applications on GIS presentations.

Dr Wolf Forstreuter, Head of SPC’s GIS/RS Unit commented that this is the only conference in the GIS & RS user community where Pacific Islanders have an opportunity to showcase their GIS & RS applications and meet representatives of spatial data resellers, software, hardware vendors, and scientific specialists. He added, ‘There are some regional conferences in Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia; however, the level of participation by representatives from the Pacific region is often limited at those meetings, as compared to the Suva conference.’