Northern continental shelf survey of Papua discussed at the UN 2020

Northern continental shelf survey of Papua discussed at the UN 2020
Landsat image of Indonesia. (Google Earth)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Oceans and continents are dynamic objects that always change the shape and size.

As a sovereign country on lands and waters, Indonesia must make the boundaries of the Indonesian Continental Shelf known and determined as the property of the nation and the people, and thus they must be protected and defended.

In April 2019, the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) conducted a bathymetry survey (seabed measurement) to determine Indonesia’s outermost boundaries in the northern waters of Papua, the Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) website said as quoted by Indonesia Window here on Tuesday.

The survey, conducted by BPPT’s Baruna Jaya I Research Ship (KR), produced a report submitted to BIG.

“The results of this survey are to strengthen our submission to the United Nations and will be discussed in 2020,” BIG Chief Hasanuddin Zainal Abidin said.

Hasan explained the survey was carried out along the 6,800-kilometer area. “If there is an expansion of continental shelf, then the country has additional seabed areas and can manage the content of natural resources in the seabed, such as oil and gas,” Hasan explained.

Report of the results of a survey conducted in July-September 2019 showed a bridge (saddle) that connects the plain of Papua with the eauripic rise which is commonly called the continental shelf as a natural extension of the two plains.

This evidence can be seen from the visualization of the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) which is one of the results of the bathymetry data processing.

The survey data strengthen those in the submission documents that have been submitted to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in New York.

Meanwhile, Head of BPPT Hammam Riza pointed out that the survey was conducted with KR Baruna Jaya I because it was equipped with a Multibeam Echosounder Teledyne Hydrosweep DS system that is capable of measuring to depths of more than 10,000 meters.

“We hope we can get a complete picture of the seabed morphology of the survey area. It will be used to determine the foot of slope points in the context of delimitation of the outermost boundaries of Indonesia in the northern waters of Papua,” Hammam said.

A country has the right on continental shelf rights up to 200 miles from the coastline or base of the islands. The limit can increase up to 350 miles if the country can prove scientifically that the additional area of ​​the existing continental shelf is a natural continuation of the country.

Bathymetry survey involving BPPT; BIG; the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs; the Ministry of Energy and Human Resources; the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries ; the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG); the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI); the Center for Hydrographic and Oceanography of the Indonesian Navy; the Ten November Institute of Technology (ITS); and the Diponegoro University. It was carried out in two stages in two areas.

The first stage is carried out in waters around Papua for 23 days. Meanwhile, the second phase is conducted outside the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for 15 days.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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