“The United Nations’ Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in New York recently made public its approval and endorsement of a joint claim from the Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Papua New Guinea over 600,000 square kilometers of additional seabed on what is known as the Ontong Java Plateau.
“The Ontong Java Plateau is a huge oceanic plateau located in the Pacific Ocean, lying north of the Solomon Islands. The plateau covers an area of approximately 2,000,000 km², or roughly the size of Alaska, and it reaches a thickness of up to 30 km.
The joint claim was lodged in 2009, taking approximately 10 years before the technical examination process, and disposition of the claim, was fully completed..
The legal implication of endorsing the extension of the continental shelf claim is that claimers of the extension (i.e. Solomon Islands, the FSM and Papua New Guinea) are vested with sovereign rights to explore the natural resources on the seabed area for possible oil, gas, minerals, and living organisms that may be of scientific or commercial value.
Source PAC News.