Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Arctic: Ottawa and Washington will negotiate on Arctic property seabed té /></p>
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<p class=The American claim affects a large part of the Beaufort Sea floor; seabed that Canada also claims.

The Canadian Press

Canada commits to working with the United States after Washington claimed parts of the Arctic seabed that the Canadian government also claims.

Grantly Franklin, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, said in an email that Canada expects to follow the process established in a United Nations treaty despite the fact that the United States does not follow the process established in a United Nations treaty. have not ratified the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Canada and the United States are in frequent communication regarding the continental shelf of the x27;Arctic and have expressed their commitment, alongside other Arctic states, to the orderly resolution of overlapping claims, Mr. Franklin wrote.

Washington filed its request last month with the United Nations agency that reviews such requests.

As expected, the American claim affects a large part of the bottom of the Beaufort Sea (New window) – seabed that Canada also claims.

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The Beaufort Sea affects Alaska, the Yukon and the Northern Territories -West.

It's something we always suspected they were going to do, said Rob Huebert, a professor at the Center for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

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The Americans have been very careful not to have overlap with the Russians, but they have overlap with us.

A quote from Rob Huebert, professor at the Center for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary

Much of the overlap concerns how the boundary should be drawn. Canada wants it to run directly north from the 141st meridian, while the United States says it should be drawn at a 90-degree angle to the shore. /p>

A United Nations treaty grants states rights to the seabed and their natural resources if they can prove that their continental shelf extends beyond 200 nautical miles from their coast and that it constitutes a natural extension of this continent. Rights to an extended continental shelf do not include control of aspects such as fishing or shipping.

The x27;UN does not pronounce on the maritime limits and the outer limits of the continental shelf of States, but it evaluates the scientific data which supports the claims of each and then leaves it to them to negotiate a settlement.

Although Washington never signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Americans are committed to its framework.

The United States considers the [convention's] definition of the continental shelf to be customary international law and has adhered to that definition in delineating the limits of its continental shelf, Mr. Franklin wrote.

The American decision to follow the convention is good news for the state of international law, Mr. Huebert explained.

He said that Canada's desire to work with a country outside the convention could weaken the treaty. But given the slim chance the United States will sign it soon, Huebert called the move politically smart.

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Although Washington never signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Americans are committed to its framework. Good news according to Rob Huebert, associate professor at the University of Calgary.

Mr. Huebert notes that Canada, which filed its request in 2019, now has overlapping claims with Russia, Denmark as well as the United States.

Each of our Arctic neighbors has ties to us, Huebert said.

He said growing geopolitical tensions across the world would not make it easier to draw these lines on the waves.

You need to resolve peaceful way if you are part of the convention, he said.

But we must add to this the current geopolitical situation. We are in such a conflicted environment – ​​with Russia, primarily, and now with our two key allies. It's a nasty mix.

A quote from Rob Huebert, professor at the Center for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary

Canada's proposal would place 1.2 million square kilometers of seabed under Canadian control, an area the size of Alberta and Saskatchewan combined.

The Amerasian basin, which includes the disputed area of ​​the Beaufort Sea, is believed to contain significant oil reserves. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates it could hold up to 10 billion barrels of oil equivalents – although that figure is considered a probabilistic estimate based on Arctic geology rather than as a precise figure.

The United Nations body responsible for assessing The quality of scientific data on each country's continental shelf enlargement claims is likely to take years to reach a decision.

Do you want to know more about the Arctic and its populations? Visit our Looking at the Arctic platform (New window).

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