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The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Delineation of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf. Harald Brekke CLCS Member. UN PROCESS. International Law Commission 1949 - 1956 1 st Conference on the LOS 1958 - Geneva Convention 1958

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slide1

The United Nations Conventionon the Law of the Sea and the Delineation of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf

Harald Brekke

CLCS Member

slide2

UN PROCESS

International Law Commission 1949 - 1956

1st Conference on the LOS 1958 - Geneva Convention 1958

2nd Conference on the LOS 1960

Sea-Bed Commission 1968 - 1973

Declaration of Principles, GA 1970

3rd Conference on the LOS 1973 - 1982 - UNCLOS 1982 - Entered into force 1994

slide4

Maritime zones of jurisdiction

LIMIT OF

THE CONTINENTAL

THE AREA

CONTINENTAL SHELF

BEYOND 200 M

SHELF

200 - MILE BOUNDARY

SLOPE

CONTINENTAL

FOOT OF THE

200 M

EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE (EEZ))

CONTIGUOUS ZONE

24 M

12M

TERRITORIAL SEA

BASELINE

LAND

LAND

RG

31.1.00

R 001070

slide5

TRUMAN PROCLAMATION 28 SEPT. 1945

The Government of the United States ”...regards the natural resources of the subsoil and seabed of the continental shelf beneath the high seas but contiguous to the coasts of the United States as appertaining to the United States, subject to its jurisdiction and control.”

United States Government regarded this to be”... reasonable and just, .............., since the continental shelf may be regarded as the extension of the landmass of the coastal nation and thus naturally appurtenant to it .”

slide6

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE 20 FEB. 1969

“More fundamental than the notion of proximity appears to be the principle ...... of the natural prolongationorcontinuationof the land territory..... “

.. What confers the ipso jure title which international law attributes to the coastal State in respect of its continental shelf, is the fact that the submarine areas concerned may be deemed to be actually part of the territory over which the coastal State already has dominion , - in the sense that, ..... , they are a prolongation or continuation of that territory,...”

slide7

CONTINENTAL SHELF BOUNDARIES

Geneva Convention 1958:

The continental shelf extends “..to where the depth of the superjacent water admits of the exploitation of the natural resources..”

UNCLOS 1982:

The limits of the continental shelf established according to the Convention “..shall be final and binding”

slide9

Sketch of geological principles

Continental margin

Continental Shelf

Continental

Mid - oceanic

Footofslope

ridge

slope

Sediments

Continental

Deepoceanfloor

rise

6-15 Km

Oceanic crust

30 - 50 Km

Krystallinsk kontinental skorpe

Crystalline continental crust

Melted

mantle

Earth's mantle

MHe

13.12.99

RL9909003/6

slide10

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

PART VI

CONTINENTAL SHELF

ARTICLE 76

Definition of the continental shelf

slide11

Article 76, paragraph 1

“The continental shelf of a coastal State comprises the sea-bed and the subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance.”

slide12

Paragraph 1

Defines the continental shelf in terms of the outer edge of the continental margin.

This is a legal definition and must not be confused with the scientific definition.

slide13

Paragraph 1

The continental shelf extends

either:

to the outer edge of the continental margin

or:

to 200 nautical miles where the continental margin does not extend that far

slide14

The continental shelf - juridical vs scientific concept

Continental shelf (juridical)

Continental margin

Continental Shelf (scientific)

Continental

Mid - oceanic

Foot of slope

ridge

slope

Sediments

Continental

rise

Deep ocean floor

Oceanic crust

6-15 Km

30 - 50 Km

Krystallinsk kontinental skorpe

Crystalline continental crust

Melted

Earth's mantle

mantle

0

100

200

Nautical miles (M)

MHe

13.12.99

RL9909003/6

slide15

Paragraph 1

The continental shelf comprises the sea-bed and subsoil (the superjacent water is not included)

slide16

Article 76, paragraph 3

“The continental margin comprises the submerged prolongation of the land mass of the coastal State, and consists of the sea-bed and the subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise. It does not include the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof.”

slide17

Paragraph 3

Defines the continental margin

by:

Specifying its physical components

and

Specifically excluding adjacent features

slide18

Article 76, paragraph 3

Coastal State

Sea Surface

Shelf

Land mass

Slope

Foot of slope

Rise

Deep ocean floor

Continental margin

slide19

Paragraph 3

The definition of the continental margin is neutral regarding the geological nature of the underlying earth’s crust.

The continental margin is defined in terms of the prolongation of the landmass of the coastal State

slide20

The Coastal State Origin

According to paragraphs 1 and 3 the coastal State is the starting point for the continental margin, and generates its continental shelf:

The continental margin is the submerged prolongationof its landmass (§ 3), while

The continental shelf is the sea-bed and subsoil of the natural prolongationof its land territory (§ 1).

slide21

Article 76, paragraph 2

“The continental shelf of a coastal State shall not extend beyond the limits provided for in paragraphs 4 to 6.”

slide22

Article 76, paragraph 4

Gives operational definitions of the outer edge of the continental margin (§4(a)) and the foot of the continental slope (§4(b)).

slide23

Article 76, paragraph 4 a)

“For the purposes of this Convention, the coastal State shall establish the outer edge of the continental margin wherever the margin extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, by either:

slide24

Article 76, paragraph 4 a)

(i)a line delineated in accordance with paragraph 7 by reference to the outermost fixed points at each of which the thickness of sedimentary rocks is at least 1 per cent of the shortest distance from such point to the foot of the continental slope; or

slide25

Article 76, paragraph 4 a)

(ii)a line delineated in accordance with paragraph 7 by reference to fixed points not more than 60 nautical miles from the foot of the continental slope.”

slide26

Determination of the outer edge of the continental margin

Baseline

Foot of

slope

Sediments

60M

1 % of distance

to foot ofslope

Crystalline continental crust

Oceanic crust

Nautical mile( M )

0

100

200

300

400

continetal margin delineation bathymetric map
Continetal margin delineationBathymetric map

2350

2000

2100

2300

2550

2500

2000

1700

slide28

Article 76, paragraph 4 b)

“In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the foot of the continental slope shall be determined as the point of maximum change in gradient at its base.”

slide29

Determination of correct foot of slope

Sketch of geological principles

Continental margin

Continental Shelf

OUTER

Foot of slope

PLATEAU

Continental

Mid - oceanic

slope

ridge

Sediments

Continental

EROSJONS-

rise

Deep ocean floor

DAL

Oceanic crust

6-15 Km

30 - 50 Km

Crystalline continental crust

Melted

Earth's mantle

mantle

MHe

13.10.99

RL9909003/5

slide31

Paragraph 5

Sets the maximum extent of the continental shelf to be either:

350 nautical miles from the baselines

or:

100 nautical miles from the 2,500 meters depth contour

slide32

Maximum limits of the

continental shelf

Baseline

Maximum 1

Maximum 2

2500 m

isobath

100M

Foot of

slope

Sediments

60M

1 % of distance

to foot ofslope

Crystalline continental crust

Oceanic crust

Nautical mile( M )

0

100

200

300

400

350

continetal margin delineation bathymetric map33
Continetal margin delineationBathymetric map

2350

2000

2100

2300

2550

2500

2000

1700

continetal margin delineation bathymetric map34
Continetal margin delineationBathymetric map

2350

2000

2100

2300

2550

2500

2000

1700

continetal margin delineation bathymetric map35
Continetal margin delineationBathymetric map

2350

2000

2100

2300

2550

2500

2000

1700

slide37

Categories of submarine highs

Oceanic ridges of the deep ocean floor - § 3

Submarine ridges - § 6

Submarine elevations that are natural components of the continental margin - § 6

slide38

Paragraph 6

Maximum limits on submarine highs:

“Submarine ridges” - 350 M

“Submarine elevations” - § 5 applies

slide39

STATEMENT OF UNDERSTANDING CONCERNING A SPECIFIC METHOD TO BE USED IN ESTABLISHING THE OUTER EDGE OF THE CONTINENTAL MARGIN

Final Act - Annex II

slide40

Final Act - Annex II

A request from the Third Conference to the CLCS to let itself be governed by a set of special rules for thecoastal States in the southern part of the Bay of Bengal.

These rules aim to compensate for the exceptional shape and sediment distribution of the continental margin in this region.

slide41

Paragraph 7

States that the outer limit of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles shall be delineated by:

fixed points not more than 60 nautical miles apart, and

straight lines connecting the fixed points.

slide43

Article 76, paragraph 8

"Information on the limits of the continetal shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (.......) shall be submitted to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (.....)."

slide44

Article 76, paragraph 8 (continued)

"The Commission shall make recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of the outer limits of their continental shelf."

slide45

Article 76, paragraph 8 (continued)

"The limits of the shelf established by a coastal State on the basis of these recommendations shall be final and binding."

slide46

Article 76, paragraph 9

"The coastal State shall deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations charts and relevant information, including geodetic data, permanently describing the outer limits of its continental shelf. The Secretary-General shall give due publiscity thereto."

slide47

Article 76, paragraph 10

“The provisions of this article are without prejudice to the question of delimitation of the continental shelf between States with opposite or adjacent coasts.”

article 77 rights of the coastal state over the continental shelf
Article 77Rights of the coastal state over the continental shelf

Provides for the coastal State sovereign rights over the continental shelf for the purpose of exploring and expoliting its natural resources. These rights are exclusive and do not depend on occupation, effective or notional, or on express proclamation.

slide50
Article 82Payments and contributions with respect to the expolitation of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles

- Coastal State to make payments or contributions in kind to the International Seabed Authority

- 1% from sixth year increasing annually to 7% (max) of value or volume of production at site

- Developing States who are net importers of a mineral resource produced from it continental shelf are excempted

article 83 delimitation of the continental shelf between states with opposite or adjacent coasts
Article 83Delimitation of the continental shelf between States with opposite or adjacent coasts

- Delimitation be effected by agreement on the basis of international law, ref. Article 38 of the Statue of the International Court of Justice.

- In case of no agreement implement dispute settlement procedures

- Provisional agreements shall be without prejudice to the final delimitation

- Agreement already in force shall prevail

article 84 charts and lists of geographical co ordinates
Article 84Charts and lists of geographical co-ordinates

Charts and lists of geographical co-ordinates specifying the outer limit lines and lines of delimitation of the continental shelf shall be duely published and deposited with the UN General Secretary.

In cases where the charts and lists specifies the outer limit lines of the continental shelf a copy shall also be deposited with the Secretary General of the International Seabed Authority