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Vanuatu and Solomon Islands to conclude historic maritime boundary treaty

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7 October 2016, Port Vila

The Pacific Community (SPC) is welcoming the conclusion of 33 years of negotiations between Vanuatu and Solomon Islands with the signing of a Maritime Boundary Agreement between the countries.

 

A signing ceremony involving the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, the Hon Manasseh Sogavare, and the Prime Minister for Vanuatu, the Hon Charlot Salawai, is expected to take place in northern Vanuatu today.

 

Vanuatu government officials said the landmark agreement will provide legal and jurisdictional certainty for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu for better management of the ocean, while at the same time allowing the two nations’ cultural and historical linkages to remain solid.

 

In congratulating both governments, the Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said it was also a special and rewarding occasion for SPC staff who had supported the complex negotiations over many years.

 

“SPC’s Regional Maritime Boundaries Unit has been working with technical and legal teams from Pacific Island countries on the negotiations, alongside the Forum Fisheries Agency, Commonwealth Secretariat, the UN Environment Programme Grid Arendal and the Australian Government,” Prof Petterson said.

 

“It’s been a privilege for SPC to help equip government staff with expertise and skills necessary for these maritime boundary negotiations since early 2000, and we’re all proud that capacity exists in the region to reach a successful conclusion such as this,” he said.

 

In the Pacific Islands region, there are approximately 49 shared and overlapping Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), and almost 70 per cent of these have been successfully negotiated and signed by the respective leaders.

 

The treaty between Vanuatu and Solomon Islands will be the 36th Maritime Boundary Agreement to be signed to date.

 

The successful conclusion of this latest maritime agreement also fulfils one of the regional ocean policies, namely the Pacific Oceanscape Framework’s key strategic priorities to formalise maritime boundaries and secure rights over ocean resources.

 

Vanuatu officials this week acknowledged the assistance and technical support provided by SPC and other development partners over more than three decades.

 


Media contact:
Emily Artack       Maritime Boundaries Unit,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +679 3381 377, ext 36275

 

Useful link:
SPC’s Regional Maritime Boundaries Unit:  http://gsd.spc.int/regionalmaritimeboundaries

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2016 14:39  

Newsflash

Friday 11 July 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters, Noumea, New Caledonia – The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing team has received two awards from the world’s leading supplier of satellite imagery, DigitalGlobe Inc., based in Colorado, USA.

They received a Partner Excellence Award 2014 for increased sales volume and meeting business growth expectations. SPC is the only authorised reseller of DigitalGlobe products in the Pacific Island region.

SPC members currently receive the highest-resolution satellite image data commercially available at some of the lowest prices on the planet.

Speaking at the awards ceremony held at SPC’s Suva Regional Office on Thursday 10 July, 2014 Wolf Forstreuter, GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist, explained emerging fields in the application of satellite imagery data.

‘Emily Artack, our Maritime Boundaries Technical Officer, used satellite image data for determination of maritime boundaries between Kiribati and Marshall Islands. This is a new application for satellite image data. And it is the first time that the International Seabed Authority has recognised satellite imagery as a legal tool to determine boundaries.’