Ver Angola


Angola in the race for more maritime territory

The Portuguese-speaking countries Angola, Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde and Mozambique submitted their proposals for extending the continental shelf which, if accepted, would represent an increase in the resources available to these States, according to the chairman of the evaluation commission.

:  Angola Image Bank
Angola Image Bank  

Hydrographer Aldino Campos said, in an interview with the UN News bulletin, that this is "a matter of great importance for Portuguese-speaking countries", all of which are bathed by the sea.

Upon request from the countries, which seek to extend their territorial platform in this way, the commission responsible for evaluating each request resorts to specialists who carry out "detailed analyzes until reaching a result".

The establishment of these limits is provided for in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

By default, the territorial range is 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the coast and "implies the sovereignty of the State over living and non-living resources, soil and marine subsoil".

But countries can request extensions beyond this limit.

The vast majority of these countries have the opportunity to submit their extension proposals to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, as Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Portugal have done, missing São Tomé and Príncipe and Timor-Leste.

According to Aldino Campos, Timor-Leste is "a very particular case", as the distance between the Asian country and Australia is less than 400 miles. Thus, the limit of 200 miles that each country is entitled to is subdivided, not allowing this extension, because "all the space is already occupied".

And he added that Brazil is considered "one of the pioneers in the delivery of proposals" and that, after having received recommendations that were not favorable, it reviewed the request and is now having "very satisfactory results" in processing the request.

The process over Portugal is more or less halfway through, with "it being difficult to assess the outcome", while Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde are still "in the waiting phase".

It is a process that "could represent a very great burden for the countries, as it takes many years to advance", said Aldino Campos.

In this regard, he mentioned the example of Portugal, which submitted its proposal in 2009 and only in 2017 was the subcommittee that is evaluating the request formed.

"This period of time requires a certain national effort to maintain a team, to keep software up to date, for example, data, a team to monitor international forums, as well as the evolution of morphologies and technologies underlying the extension itself" , exemplified.

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