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UNCLOS workshop at GRID-Arendal

The just division of the continental shelf is on the programme when GRID-Arendal this week hosts an international workshop for the United Nations Convention on Ocean's and Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).


Just division of the continental shelf


GRID-Arendal elucidates a new centre to settle the division of the continental shelf


Arendal, 30 March 2003 - Within 2009, many of the 142 countries that have signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), will deliver their suggestions to the limitation of their continental shelf. Mapping of the continental shelf involves large resources; there is a danger that many countries will not be able to do this within the deadline. Missing the deadline could pose a big obstacle for the exploitation of these countries continental shelf, which, in turn, could impact on the countries resource potential and economy.


Last year UN’s General Assembly requested the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to set up a new data center that would help the actual countries in their mapping of the outer limits of the continental shelf.


On behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as a follow up to the General Assembly decision, GRID-Arendal elucidates the establishment of a UN-center with special focus on support to developing countries and small islands states.


Every year, scientific research institutions acquire research data on the continental shelf from all over the world. This information is important to the countries when they define the outer limits of the continental shelf. The new center will gather all this information and make it available.


In connection with this work a workshop is held in Arendal from March 31 – April 2 with participants from key nations as Angola, Cap Verde, Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal, Seychelles, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.


Media interested in participating to this workshop please see below for contacts.


For more information:

Kontakt GRID-Arendal:

Lars Kullerud tel: +47 37 03 57 08, or mobile: +47 90 87 00 99

Morten Sørensen tel: +47 37 03 57 15, or mobile: +47 911 24 700


United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea


Tentative Programme


Monday, 31st March

  • Introduction to UNCLOS
    • Article 76
    • Other provisions regarding the continental shelf
    • Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)
    • Provisions regarding marine research data
  • Submissions to the CLCS
  • Data requirements and the Scientific and Technical Guidelines of CLCS
  • Background for the request to consider the establishment of a UNEP-GRID Data Centre for Continental Shelf Research Geo-Data 

Tuesday, 1st April 

  • General outline of continental shelf delineation projects
  • Project experience: Sri Lanka
  • Project experience: Seychelles
  • Project experience: Norway
  • Status, plans and needs for assistance from countries represented
  • Discussion, identification of main challenges

 Wednesday, 2nd April

  • Status, plans and needs for assistance from countries represented. Continued
  • Discussion on role of a UN data centre, e.g.:
    • How can a UN data centre best serve the needs of developing states?
    • On which tasks, functions and deliveries should a data centre concentrate?
    • How will the individual state make use of the data centre?
    • Which institutions within a state will be involved?
    • Implications for national legislation
    • Funding
  • Follow up and progress
  • Summary and wrap-up



Monday 31 Mar 2003
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