Indian Ocean Offshore Joint Management Zone Actioned

The Information Daily
Sunday, August 26, 2012

Indian Ocean Islands, Seychelles & Mauritius join forces to manage exploitation of world's largest offshore continental shelf area.

With the help of the Commonwealth Secretariat Seychelles and Mauritius have established a joint commission, the first of its kind, to manage an offshore zone comprising 400,000 sq. kilometers of continental shelf. This development comes after their successful joint claim to the continental shelf before the United Nations.

This will enable both countries to jointly regulate seabed activities, including exploration for petroleum and minerals, as well as the conservation and management of the living resources of the seabed, reports 'The Information Daily'.

“This is the first area of continental shelf extending beyond the exclusive economic zone to be jointly managed anywhere in the world, and the largest as well,” said Joshua Brien, Legal Adviser on Natural Resources at the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Special Advisory Services Division, who leads the maritime boundary programme.

“Our goal is to ensure that the two countries co-operate on the sustainable management of the joint zone, and that international best practices are applied in all respects, ranging from initial exploration and conservation, through to the collection and management of revenue generated from the development of natural resources in the joint zone,” he added.

As part of a comprehensive package of legal and technical assistance, the Secretariat will commission a seabed resource assessment of the zone, which will assist the Seychelles and Mauritius to identify areas for exploration while safeguarding sensitive areas of conservation.

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