Presentation on theme: "The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) and its workDivision for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea,Office of Legal AffairsMarch 2015
2 IMPORTANTThe designations employed and the presentation of the material in this presentation do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Provision of information concerning developments relating to the law of the sea emanating from actions and decisions taken by States does not imply recognition by the United Nations of the validity of the actions and decisions in question. Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings, interpretations and conclusions, if any, expressed in this presentation are those of the United Nations staff members who prepared it and/or deliver it and do not necessarily represent the views of the United Nations or its Member States.
3 Outline The continental shelf Delineation of the continental shelf beyond 200 MThe Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)Current workload of the CommissionDiscussion
5 Continental shelf – Legal framework Part VI, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)Definition (article 76)Rights and duties of coastal States (articles 77-82, 84, 85)Delimitation between States with opposite or adjacent coasts (article 83)Outer limits of the continental shelf are limits of national jurisdiction and hence also limits of the Area (international seabed, common heritage of mankind)
6 Continental shelf – Benefits I Coastal State hasSovereign rights for the purpose of exploring the continental shelf and exploiting its natural resourcesThese rights areExclusiveIndependent from occupationNo proclamation requiredThe establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf is important for a number of reasons. Among them: (i) the delineation of the extent of sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the resources of the continental shelf is important for their exploration and exploitation. Large areas of sea-bed and subsoil thereof are involved; (ii) the area of sea-bed and subsoil beyond the limits of national jurisdiction is considered to be the “common heritage of mankind” (the Area). Thus, the delineation by coastal States of the outer limits of the continental shelf is of interest to all States in view of the need to define the limits of the Area and to allow for exploration and exploitation of its resources administered by the International Seabed Authority.
7 Continental shelf – Natural resources Article 77, UNCLOSMineral and other non-living resources of the seabed and subsoilLiving organisms belonging to sedentary speciesIn the case of exploitation of non-living resources beyond 200 M (article 82):Payments or contributions in kind to the International Seabed Authority (up to 7% of value or volume of production)
8 Continental shelf – Benefits II Coastal State has jurisdiction with regard toEstablishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures (article 80);Drilling on the continental shelf (article 81);Cables and pipelines connected to its exploration and exploitation or to operations of artificial islands, installations and structures (article 79);Marine scientific research (article 246);Protection and preservation of marine environment (article 208).In case that is of additional interest:Continental Shelf and EEZ comparedBreadth:The continental shelf can extend beyond the 200 nautical miles if geophysical configuration allows;The EEZ cannot extend beyond 200 nautical miles.Entitlement:The continental shelf inherently belongs to coastal State;The EEZ may be proclaimed by costal State.All coastal States have a continental shelf while they may or may not have an exclusive economic zone.Exploitation of resources:living resources: obligations to share surplus of resources caught in the EEZ; no such obligation for sedentary species harvested in the continental shelf;non-living resources: payments or contributions in kind (up to 7% of value or volume) to ISA with respect of exploitation of resources of their continental shelves beyond 200 nautical miles;Pollution & Marine scientific research: broader jurisdiction in the exclusive economic zone than in the continental shelf.
9 Continental shelf – Scientific concept Continental shelf (juridical)Continental marginContinental Shelf (scientific)ContinentalFoot of slopeMid - oceanicsloperidgeSedimentsContinentalriseDeep ocean floor6-15 KmOceanic crustKmCrystalline continental crustThis figure illustrates the difference between the legal and scientific use of the term “continental shelf “. According to the scientific definition of the term “the continental shelf” extends to the shelf edge, while according to the juridical definition “the continental shelf” coincides with the continental margin wherever that extends beyond 200 nautical miles (if constraints do not apply). In this respect the scientific continental shelf and the juridical continental shelf are two quite different concepts.The continental crust is very thick and relatively light, while the oceanic crust is thin and considerably heavier. As a result, continents float higher than oceanic crust, like a cork on water.Moving from the shore to the deep ocean floor, the characteristics of the sea-bed change as a result of the lateral transition from continental to oceanic crust:The continental shelf is the relatively flat and shallow submerged part of the continent. It is usually covered by a thick layer of sediments that may contain hydrocarbon resources. The continental shelf extends from the shore to the top of the continental slope (shelf break).The continental slope is the section of the seabed bordering the continental shelf. It is rather steep and brings the water depth from a few hundred meters, at the edge of the shelf, down to 3,500 to 5,500 meters at the foot of the continental slope. In general, the continental slope is formed near the edge of the continental mass where the continental crust thins considerably and merges with the oceanic crust. The foot of the continental slope is usually found close to the actual zone of transition between the two types of crust.The continental rise, a feature many coastal States have, is an area of very gentle dip between the foot of the continental slope and the deep ocean floor. The typical continental rise is a wedge-shaped layer of sediments derived from the shelf areas and accumulated next to the base of the slope – in many places prograding partly onto the oceanic crust.The continental shelf, slope and rise together constitute the continental margin.It is important to draw attention to the difference between the scientific concepts of “continental shelf” and “continental margin,” as described above, because the Convention defines the legal continental shelf in relation to the scientific continental margin (not to the scientific continental shelf). Under the scientific point of view the continental shelf is one of the sections of seabed that constitute the continental margin.Definition of continental margin:The continental margin comprises the submerged prolongation of the land mass of the coastal State, and consists of the seabed and 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.(article 76, paragraph 3).Definition of continental shelf:The continental shelf of a coastal State comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea (i) throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or (ii) 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.(article 76, paragraph 1).MeltedEarth's mantlemantle100200Nautical miles (M)RL /6
10 Continental shelf – Scenarios Possible scenarios:A. States with continental margins up to 200 MNo further action needed.B. States with continental margins extending beyond 200 MObligation to submit information on the limits of the continental shelf to the CLCS, wherever they extend beyond 200 M. Limits established on the basis of recommendations of the CLCS are final and binding.Two scenarios:The breadth of the shelf is limited to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines - where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend beyond that distance; (not further action needed)Where the outer edge of the continental margin extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines, the coastal State may delineate the limits of its continental shelf beyond 200 M, in accordance with the criteria specified in article 76. (Obligation to submit information on the limits of the continental shelf to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf)The recommendations of the Commission are based on a detailed examination of the scientific and technical data and information included by States in their submissions.
11 Delineation of the continental shelf beyond 200 M
12 Fixed points (lat, long) Delineation beyond 200 M – OverviewEstablished baseline(either normal or straight)2500 m isobath M350 M200 MHedberg Line60 Mcontinental shelfslopeabyssalplaincontinental crustcontinentalrisesedimentAnimated by I Made Andi Arsana -foot of slope (FOS)(max. change of gradient)ocean crust1% sediment thickness(Gardiner Line)Outer limit of CSFixed points (lat, long)Here is an animation prepared by one of the former Nippon fellows which explains the process by which the outer limit of the continental shelf is established.You can see the geomorphological components of the continental margin from the continental shelf to the abyssal plain.First you have the established baselineCLICK – this is the 200 M line measured from the baselines (corresponding to the limits of the EEZ)CLICK – Here is the foot of the continental slope (maximum change in gradient at the base of the slope)CLICK – Here are the sediment thickness and the line where the thickness of sediments corresponds to at least 1% of the distance back to the FOS (one of two formulae lines, giving entitlement)CLICK – Here is the FOS + 60 M line (the other formula line, giving entitlement)The seaward combination of those two lines (outer envelope) is the combined formulae line and the first construction part for determining the outer limit.CLICK – It corresponds to the outer edge of the continental margin.Next are the constraint lines, restricting entitlement:CLICK – This is the 350 M constraint line at a distance of 350 M from the baselinesCLICK – This is the 2500 m isobath (line connecting the same elevation points, here at m, likely around here [point]) MThe most advantageous (seaward) combination of those two constraint lines is then applied to the former combination of formulae lines using the landward combination,CLICK – and this finalizes the process by which the outer limits of the continental shelf are defined. The outer limits need to be delineated by straight lines not exceeding 60 M in length, connecting fixed points (based on any of the two formulae or constraint lines) defined by coordinates of latitude and longitude.(throughout the process geology, geophysical, geomophologic and hydrographic parameters are evaluated by the Commission)
13 Delineation beyond 200 M – Summary The outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 M result from the application of two formulae (giving entitlement) and two constraint lines (restricting entitlement):- 60 M formula line (FOS + 60 M)- sediment thickness formula line (sedimentthickness at least 1% of distance back to FOS)- distance constraint (350 M from baselines)- depth constraint (2500 m isobath M)Landward combination of combined formulae and combined constraints lines to be used for outer limits of the continental shelfSeaward combination is outer edge of continental marginSeaward combination of two constraint lines applies
14 Delineation beyond 200 M – Framework Article 76 of UNCLOSScientific and Technical Guidelines of the CLCS (link to the document)Training manual details methodological aspects of the delineation process including the preparation of submissions to the CLCSMethodological aspects such as geodesy, hydrology, geology and geomorphology are necessary for delineating the outer limit of the continental shelf
15 The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)
16 CLCS – MandateConsiders submissions by coastal States in respect of the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 M;Makes recommendations regarding the outer limits;Provides scientific and technical advice in this context.In view of the complexity of article 76 which I have just described, the CLCS was set up not only to ensure that the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf is done in accordance with the Convention, but also to assist each Coastal State in the process of delineation of such outer limits by providing it with scientific and technical advice.The Commission is not a court of lawThe Commission is by its nature not interested in moving the outer limit closer to, or further from, a State’s coast. Its only function is to assist both the coastal State and the international community with all the scientific ability at its disposal to establish where this outer limit of the continental shelf is located according to the provisions of the Convention. The process of the consideration of the submission is not that of a competition between a prosecutor and a defense attorney, but rather that of joint cooperation between the scientists of the coastal State and those of the Commission, a joint effort to establish the correct line in accordance with the criteria set out in the Convention. The examination of each submission generally takes at least one year and involves the consideration and processing of large amounts of data and information. For example, the submission of Australia consists of more than 5,000 printed pages and voluminous amounts of data in electronic format. In performing its functions, the Commission needs to execute highly technical tasks and in this regard depends on the facilities and support provided by the United Nations Secretariat under the Convention and relevant General Assembly resolutions.
17 CLCS – FrameworkArticle 76, paragraph 8 (role of the CLCS in the delineation of the outer limits of the continental shelf)Annex II to the Convention (more detailed)Rules of Procedure of the CLCS – Document CLCS/40/Rev.1 (day-to-day operation of the CLCS)Regular sessions at UN Headquarters (currently three sessions per year of seven weeks each)Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) acts as the Secretariat of the CLCS
18 CLCS – Composition 21 members Experts in the fields of geology, geophysics or hydrographyElected by States Parties to the Convention from among their nationals for terms of five yearsEquitable geographical representation (at least three members from each geographical region)Members serve in their personal capacities with a duty to act independently and preserve confidentiality
19 Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf Haworth, R.T.Carrera H., G.Charles, F.L.Marques, J.Paterlini, C.M.Heinesen, M.V.Roest, W.R.Oduro, I.O.Awosika, L.F.Mahanjane, E.S.Njuguna, S.Kalngui, E.Uścinowicz, S.Glumov, I.F.Arshad, M.Ravindra, R.Park, Y.A.Lu, W..Urabe, T.Madon, M.B.GRULACWEOGEasternEuropeanAfricaAsia/PacificTo be elected?The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is composed of 21 members who are experts in the fields of geology, geophysics or hydrography.These are the current members of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, elected by States Parties from the five regional groups for the termOne position in the Eastern European Group is currently vacant due to the resignation of one member from Georgia. This position is expected to be filled in June 2015 through by-elections at the 25th Meeting of States Parties to be held in New York.Commission on the Limitsof the Continental Shelf
20 CLCS – Procedure after submission Presentation of the submission to the CLCS by the StateWhen submission is next in line and there is no dispute, establishment of a subcommissionConsideration of the submission by the subcommission including exchanges with the StatePreparation/adoption of draft recommendations and submission of them to the CLCSConsideration of draft recommendations by the CLCS including final presentation by the StateAdoption of final recommendations by the CLCS and transmittal to State and Secretary-General of the UNPublication of summary of recommendations on website(Rules of Procedure)Somalia already made its submission to the CLCS on 21 July, therefore we will focus here on the procedure to follow, once a submission has been made. The procedure is explained in detail in the Rules of Procedure of the Commission.The submission is considered for the first time not earlier than 3 months after submission. The State will be given the opportunity to present its submission to the Commission or defer such presentation to a later stage when the Subcommission is closer to being established.Consideration will then be deferred until the submission is next in line to be considered by way of a Subcommission.Once a Subcommission is formed (in the absence of disputes, and bearing in mind the eligibility of members of the Commission), the Subcommission will engage in exchanges with the State and may pose questions or seek clarifications or additional data and information during the consideration of the submission, if necessary.At an advanced stage, the Subcommission will present its views and general conclusions to the State. The State will have the opportunity to respond to this presentation, upon which the Subcommission will prepare draft recommendations and submitted to the Chair of the Commission.The Subcommission will present its draft recommendations to the Commission, and the State will have the opportunity to address the Commission as a whole. After that the Commission will deliberate in private about the draft recommendations and will eventually issue final recommendations (with amendments if necessary).The recommendations will then be transmitted to the State and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and a summary is being made public.
21 CLCS – Annex I, Rules of Procedure In cases ofdisputes in the delimitation of the continental shelf between opposite or adjacent States, orother unresolved land or maritime disputes, related to the submission,the CLCS will not consider the submission unless prior consent is given by all States parties to the dispute.Avenues available to StatesPartial submissionJoint submissionProvisional arrangements of a practical nature
23 Submissions – current status Total number of submissions: 77 plus two revised17 of these include the participation of African StatesIncluding partial and joint submissions, the current number of submissions totals 77 plus two revised submissions, the latest submission being a joint submission of seven W-African States.In 17 of these submissions, African States were among the submitting States.The Commission has issued 21 recommendations so far, including on the two revised submissions, and including on two African submissions, namely the joint submission by Mauritius and Seychelles on the Mascarene Plateau, and the submission by Ghana.Currently, 10 submissions are under active consideration by the Commission and its Subcommissions, among these three made (also) by African States (South Africa on its mainland, joint submission by South Africa and France on Prince Edward Islands and Crozet archipelago, and Mauritius in the region of Rodrigues Island).This leaves a backlog of 48 submissions to date, which still await their consideration by the Commission.It is to be noted, that so far the consideration of 7 submissions (1 African – Kenya) has been deferred as a whole once they reached the top of the queue and were next in line to be considered. This is generally due to objections by neighbouring States based on the existence of a dispute, in which case Annex I of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission applies. [In 4 further cases, the consideration of parts of the submissions was deferred on the same basis.](as of 01/2015)
24 Submissions over time (as of 01/2015) This graph shows the development in terms of submissions and recommendations over time until today.[Explain four colors based on legend on the side, difference between “no recommendations yet” and “no subcommission yet” are those submissions under active consideration]Most submissions (35) were received in 2009 in the context of the expiration for most States of the ten-year time period for making submissions. However, the number of submissions continues to rise, and in fact at a higher pace than the Commission is in a position to issue recommendations, which means that the backlog of submissions has continued to increase even after 2009.This means a significant delay between the handing of a submission and the establishment of a Subcommission to consider it (currently approaching 6 years and rapidly increasing further), which can pose major challenges to coastal States, especially developing States, with respect to keeping up the scientific and technical expertise and updating necessary hardware and software.The time that it takes the Commission to consider a specific submission varies substantially from a couple of months to several years, mainly depending on the volume of information and complexity of the submission being considered, and exchanges with the submitting State(s).(as of 01/2015)
25 Pending submissions46 sets of Preliminary Information received (SPLOS/183), several of which have already been followed by full submissions for the whole (22) or part of the area (3) indicated in the Preliminary InformationFurther partial submissions for additional areasFurther revised submissionsNew submissions by States whose ten-year time limit for making a submission has not yet expiredNew submissions by States not yet PartiesThe Division has received 46 sets of Preliminary Information regarding future submissions pursuant to SPLOS/183, several of which have already been followed by full submissions for the whole (22) or part of the area (3) indicated in the Preliminary Information.Further partial submissions are expected for additional areas by States who have already submitted data and information for other parts of their coasts.Further revised submissions will be made in areas where either the data was not sufficient to approve the outer limits submitted or where a State disagrees with the recommendations made by the Commission (e.g. Russian Federation in the Arctic Ocean, Brazil). Such revised submissions will be dealt with by the Commission on a priority basis notwithstanding the queue.More submissions can also be expected from States whose ten-year time limit for making submissions has not yet expired (e.g. Morocco, Ecuador), as well as from States not yet Parties (e.g. USA).The final number of submissions will therefore easily exceed 100.
26 Submitting StatesAt the time of the Third Conference on the Law of the Sea, the number of coastal States with a continental shelf beyond 200 M was estimated to be less than 40.Currently, the total number of submitting States stands at 67, including 21 African States.An additional 13 coastal States, including 8 African States, have submitted only Preliminary Information so far.Submitting States:… … …[number of submitting States (67) does not match number of submissions (77) due to partial and joint submissions]These numbers do not yet include States with later deadlines or States not yet Parties which might make additional submissions.
27 Workload of the Commission Extended number of work weeks in New YorkIncreased number of active subcommissions (9)Staggered meetings to maximize simultaneous workThe ever increasing workload of the Commission has been brought to the attention of States Parties since 2005 with different proposals made by the Commission, and has been addressed by the Meeting of States Parties through a number of different decisions.The Commission itself has implemented a number of measures in the past to tackle its increasing workload.Extending the number of work weeks of Commission and Subcommissions in New York (up to 21 weeks per year)Increasing the number of active subcommissions considering submissions concurrently (from 3 to 9)Staggering meetings to maximize simultaneous work of different subcommissions, having 3 subcommissions actively considering submissions at any given time during SC meetings (-> accumulated weeks of SC meetings)(as of 01/2015)
28 Currently under consideration Consideration of the draft recommendations - Iceland in respect of the Ægir Basin area and the western and southern parts of Reykjanes Ridge; Pakistan;Consideration of the submissions made by Uruguay; the Cook Islands in respect of the Manihiki Plateau; Argentina; Norway in respect of Bouvetøya and Dronning Maud Land; South Africa in respect of the mainland of its territory; jointly by the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands in respect of the Ontong Java Plateau; jointly by France and South Africa in respect of the area of the Crozet Archipelago and the Prince Edward Islands; Mauritius in respect of the region of Rodrigues Island.
29 Conditions of service Medical and dental insurance Loss of income or benefitsImpact on career developmentAdequacy of facilities and office space
30 CLCS – Procedure after recommendations If State agrees with the recommendations:Proceed to establish the limits of the continental shelf on the basis of the recommendations, including depositing charts and/or lists of geographical coordinates with the Secretary-General of the UN and the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, permanently describing the outer limits of the continental shelfLimits are final and binding (article 76, paragraph 8)If State disagrees with the recommendations,Make a new or revised submission to the CLCSIf the State agrees with the recommendations, it shall proceed to establish the limits of the continental shelf on their basis, including making a deposit with the SG of the UN and the SG of the ISA.Should the State disagree with the recommendations, it shall make a new or revised submission to the Commission within a reasonable time.
31 Deposit obligations Article 76, para. 9 (UNCLOS): 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 publicity thereto.Article 84, para. 2 (UNCLOS):The coastal State shall give due publicity to such charts or lists of geographical coordinates and shall deposit a copy of each such chart or list with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and, in the case of those showing the outer limit lines of the continental shelf, with the Secretary-General of the Authority.In accordance with article 76, para. 8, the limits of the shelf established by a coastal State on the basis of the recommendations by the Commission shall be final and binding. (In case of disagreement with recommendations, the avenue available to States is making a revised submission to the Commission.)Deposit obligations:… … …So far, only in four cases have recommendations been followed by a deposit made by the coastal State (Mexico, Ireland, Philippines, Australia).