This initiative builds on a 2014 joint submission to the UN to extend continental shelves beyond the current limit of 200 nautical miles.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue support for West African countries awaiting a decision on their historic continental shelf submissions at the United Nations. With the help of GRID-Arendal, the countries of Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone developed the first joint continental boundary submission in UN history. It followed a decade of collaboration between these countries and GRID-Arendal, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The joint submission was a concrete example of how countries with competing interests and claims can work together to find a peaceful solution to jurisdictional disputes.
The projects main goal is to continuing the Extended Continental Shelf capacity and cooperation network between the 7 West Africa states. There will be a technical workshop in West Africa to re-examine the joint submission, update with recent data and maintain national-level skills. For training materiel, a database of recommendations given by the Commission of the Limits of the Continental Self (CLCS) to 2016 is being developed and populated. Also, an update of the Shelf publication* to include decisions made by the CLCS to 2016 is planned.