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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 new Western Province Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) was officially opened at Gizo on Friday 18 October 2013. Construction of the new EOC was made possible through funding from the European Union under the  Disaster Risk Reduction Project (B-Envelope) implemented by the Applied Geoscience & Technology Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) based in Fiji.

In opening the building, Provincial Secretary and Acting Premier, Adrian Tony, stated that the Western Province is very much grateful for the assistance from the European Union in strengthening disaster management and the Provincial Government will ensure that the new EOC will be properly maintained to improve administration and coordination of disaster management.

He also stated that Western Province has recently experienced natural disasters with the recent tsunami that caused loss to property and human life and that the new Emergency Operation Centre will improve preparedness and reduce the risk to disasters.

The representative from SPC, George Beck, stated that Gizo is vulnerable to multi-hazards and the new EOC will provide a dedicated building from which to coordinate response to disasters as well as carry out their day-to-day operations.

He further stated that communities are already experiencing impacts to climate change and SPC is also working closely with the national Government to address important areas in policy and planning   to reduce the risks to disasters.