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Papua New Guinea Maritime Boundaries Project co-ordinator Masio Nidung says the Organic Law on Provincial Boundaries is not similar to delimiting the provincial maritime boundaries.
In setting provincial maritime boundaries, they had to ensure they are consistent with international conventions.
Speaking on the first day of a first ever National Oceans Forum in Port Moresby, she stressed to participants to differentiate between organic law on provincial boundaries, the maritime laws and the international marine conventions.
Nidung, a former lawyer with the State Solicitors office, and has been working with the delimitation project for 17 years.
“The Organic Law on Provincial Boundaries is not UNCLOS (United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea) compliant,” she said.
It came into force in 2004 but extended to 2009 because many countries were not prepared to adopt and be compliant.
Nidung said provincial boundaries were electoral or political boundaries.
“To align all coordinates, you have to do it based on maritime zones,” she said.
“If you go by the organic law on provincial boundaries, you will exceed into other people’s jurisdiction.”
She said all delimitations had to be compliant with UNCLOS and international hydrographic surveys.
“Martime zones include 12 nautical miles for territorial waters, 24 nautical miles for contiguous waters and 200 nautical miles for Exclusive Economic Zones and they had to start from a baseline,” she said.
“They have to be compliant with international interpretations so that they do not overlap into international territories.
“If they used our political boundaries, Western Province waters would overlap into Indonesia, Manus would overlap in Federated States of Micronesia and for Bougainville, maritime zone would cut through half the island.” he said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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