Posted by: Andi Arsana | June 27, 2007

Indonesia’s Submission of the Extended Continental Shelf: Status and Problems

I Made Andi Arsana*
madeandi@ugm.ac.id

Clive Schofield**
clives@uow.edu.au

* Department of Geodesy and Geomatic Engineering,
Gadjah Mada University, INDONESIA. Currently a UN-Nippon research fellow in Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong, Australia

** QEII Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong, Australia.

Abstract

The United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) 1982 indicates that a coastal State may make a claim to continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles (Extended Continental Shelf, ECS). In order for a coastal State to exercise its sovereign rights over the ECS, a submission containing the outer limit of its continental shelf should be deposited to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) trough the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Indonesia is one of the coastal States, which may potentially make such a claim to continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from its baselines. Preliminary studies also suggest that Indonesia may be able to advance such claims in several locations. At the time of writing, Indonesia is currently preparing for its ECS submission, with a deadline of 13 May 2009. The present paper is aimed at outlining the development of Indonesia’s ECS claim, including analysis of the current status of the submission preparations as well as the challenges that Indonesia is facing. While giving particular emphasis to technical aspects, this paper will, necessarily, discuss legal issues associated with Indonesia’s ECS submission.
This paper generally covers the principles related to the definition of the outer limits of the ECS, with an emphasis on the formulae and constraints as set out in Article 76 of LOSC, technical aspects of ECS definition, and the latest status and problems related to Indonesia’s ECS submission. Wherever possible, this discussion is also intended to provide possible options to overcome the identified problems.

Keywords: extended continental shelf, LOSC, article 76, CLSC, submission, formulae, constraint

Remark: accepted for oral presentation at MapAsia 2007 in Kuala Lumpur.


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