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Pakistan Delegation with Sub-Commission members||
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UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ACCEPTS PAKISTAN’S CASE ON THE EXTENTED CONTINENTAL SHELF FOR PAKISTAN |
The UN Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf hason Friday 21st March 2015 finally announced adoption of the recommendations for Extension of Pakistan Continental Shelf. With this Pakistan’s continental shelf limits stands extended from 200 to 350 nautical miles, giving Pakistan sovereign rights over additional areaof 50,000sq km beyond Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone thus increasing Pakistan’s maritime area from 250,000 sq km at present to about 290,000 sq km.
Earlier realizing the significance of Continental Shelf Extension, the Ministry of Science & Technology initiatedthe Projectback in 2004, to work on the details required for the submission of its case to the United Nations under the Law of the Sea to which Pakistan is a signatory since 1997. Government of Pakistan entrusted the responsibility of this national Project to the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), under the administrative control of Ministry of Science & Technology. The NIO along with technical support of all the stake holders; like Ministries of Foreign Affairs,Defence, Hydrography Department of PN, Law, Justice & Human Right, Science & Technology, Petroleum and Natural Resources and the Planning Divisionetcafter completed the entire requirements and Technical and Scientific Guidelines of the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for submission of Pakistan’s Case for the extension of its Continental Shelf to the United Nations on 30th April 2009.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines the different maritime zones and regulates marine sovereignty rights and rights of use, among others. The juridical Continental Shelf of a coastal state comprises the submerged natural prolongation of its land territory, and consists of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise. According to Article 76, coastal states had - under certain geological conditions - extended their juridical Continental Shelf and thus gain marine sovereignty rights beyond the 200-nautical-mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Within the extended zone, a state has among other things the exclusive right of exploring and exploiting non-living-resources of the seabed and subsoil as well as sedentary species, whereas fishing rights remain limited to the EEZ.
Pakistan gave a formal presentation to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) on 16 August 2013 at United Nations, New York. Pakistan demonstrated that high quality bathymetric and seismic data were acquired during Pakistan’s Continental Shelf Programme and the case submitted to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is based on concrete scientific evidence. Further the Pakistan’s scientific team was well supported both onshore and offshore by leading international experts. The Chairman Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf,established a seven member sub-commission to review Pakistan’s submission. In the yearlong process Pakistan technical delegation held multiple interactions with the UN Commission. The Sub-commission undertook critical review of Pakistan Submission and detailed analysis of the data submitted by Pakistan as per article 76 and Scientific & Technical Guidelines. During each interaction Pakistan delegation was posed number of technical questions and the preciseness and speed with which Pakistan delegation responded to each query helped in culminating the whole process successfully within a year, while some other states have taken more than 3 years to complete this process.
Members of Pakistan technical delegation who pursued Pakistan submission during 2013-15 include are Commodore Zafar Mansoor Tipu SI(M) Judge Advocate General of Pakistan Navy, Dr Asif Inam Director General National Institute of Oceanography and also Director of Pakistan Continental Shelf Project, Commander Salman Ahmed Khan Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department, Mr Mohsin Tabrez and Mr Khalid Mehmoodof National Institute of Oceanography.
The Subcommission established to examine Pakistan’s submission presented the recommendations to the main Commission during its 37th Session on 10th March 2015. On the same date Pakistan also made a formal concluding Presentation on the submission. The presentation of the Sub-commission and Pakistan’s delegation covered all technical and legal aspects of the submission, in conformity with relevant clauses of the Law of the Sea - UNCLOS.
Pakistan has become the first country in the region amongst India, Oman, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, to have the sea limits extended and secured the vast non-living mineral and oil & gas resources of the extended area.
World Oceans Day – 8 June
Theme - World Oceans Day (8 June 2015) - “Healthy Oceans, healthy planet”
The National Institute of Oceanography celebrates the World Ocean Day 2015 by joining the world community again and through its reiterated pledge to support activities of civic consciousness of the ocean environments and its various facets. Dr. Asif Inam, Director General and several scientists spoke on important national interest avenues and provided once again their commitment to ocean research for national development. The Ocean Day is extra special for NIO this year as the Nation celebrates the extension of its Continental Shelf boundaries and with it, its increased potentials. The day offers an opportunity to recognize the considerable challenges we face in maintaining their capacity to regulate the global climate, supply essential ecosystem services and provide sustainable livelihoods and safe recreation. Furthering our emphasis on individual and collective duty to protect the marine environment and carefully manage its resources. It is vital that the Nation comes together to:
- Identify opportunities for inter-linkages
- enhance partnerships to achieve targets and development goals
- Generate new public and private sources of finance
- Improve the capacity for implementing and monitoring national policies
- Create opportunities for the coordination
- Increase use of information and communication technologies to enhance effective communication and information sharing.
In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as from 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day” (Resolution 63/111, paragraph 171). Many countries have celebrated World Oceans Day following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life, power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere. The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.
The Oceans cover 70% of the planet, and the significance of the oceans is un debated. It regulates our climate, feeds millions, produces oxygen and is home to a variety of wildlife that serves humanity in a variety of ways. Human activities are taking a terrible toll on the world’s oceans and seas. Vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as corals, and important fisheries are being damaged by over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing practices, invasive alien species and marine pollution, especially from land-based sources. Increased sea temperatures, sea-level rise and ocean acidification caused by climate change add to it. Safe, healthy and productive seas and oceans are integral to human well-being, economic security and sustainable development and prosperity of nations.
Tropical Cyclone in Northwest Arabian Sea; ASHOBAA
12th June Alert from PMD
The Tropical Cyclone (ASHOBAA) over northwest Arabian Sea has slightly tracked further westward during past six hours and now lies centred at Lat 20.8N and Long 60.0E about 150 km east-northeast of Masirah, Island (Oman). The Tropical Cyclone is likely to weaken into a depression during next 12 hrs and cross Oman coast by 12 June morning.
Due to high tidal flow the sea conditions are likely to remain rough along Makran western-most coast (Gwadar and Jiwani) accompanied with occasional gusty winds and maximum surge of 10 ft. The Cyclone Warning Centre (Karachi) of Pakistan Meteorological Department has advised the fishermen of Balochistan as:
Fishermen of Balochistan are advised not to venture in open sea till 12 June evening.
Pishukan Fish Landing Jetty
On a request of Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) carried out detailed bathymetric survey of the Pishukan Fish Harbour. The harbour is facing problem of siltation therefore to make it useful for small and large fishing boats, the Gwadar Development Authority decided to dredge the silt deposited within the jetty area. As a pre-requisite of a dredging, two bathymetric surveys are required to be conducted to determine the volume of silt that need to be dredged before the dredging and after the dredging.
NIO carried out the initial survey in February 2013. This report contains the details of the bathymetric survey and the data acquired. This report also contains the volume of sand at a pre-dredged stage. A comparison of present bathymetric data with the survey conducted by NIO in February 2013 is also included in this report.
Call for papers...."Pakistan Journal of Oceanography"
This is a
CALL FOR PAPERS AND SHORT COMMUNICATIONS
The contributions for Pakistan Journal of Oceanography” (ISSN 1817-1761), Volume 6(2), 2014-15 to make it for publishing in the June 2015 issue should reach the Editorial Office by 15 May 2015,...
Pakistan Journal of Oceanography !
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