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Durham University

IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Indonesia and Philippines treaty to delimit maritime EEZ

(16 August 2019)

An agreement establishing the boundary between the overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the Philippines and Indonesia came into force on 1 August 2019 following 2 decades of negotiation between the two nations.

The Agreement, which was first discussed in June 1994, was formally signed by the two states in May 2014 and ratified in 2017. It entered into force at a special ceremony, which took place at the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand where Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi signed the ‘Protocols of Exchange of the instruments of ratification concerning the delimitation of the countries’ EEZs.’.

In the agreement, the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its Indonesian counterpart, the Geospatial Information Agency and the Hydro-Oceanographic Office of the Indonesian Navy, commit to working together to determine the actual delineation of the sea points and geodetic lines between the two countries.

In a statement, the Philippines Department for Foreign Affairs said:

“Wide overlaps in the EEZ of the Philippines and Indonesia, which run across the Mindanao Sea and Celebes Sea, and in the southern section of the Philippine Sea in the Pacific Ocean, required the two countries to negotiate and agree on a shared boundary.”

"The agreement is expected to benefit both countries, economically and politically, by promoting more bilateral cooperation in the EEZ in order to advance the common interest of managing and preserving the resources in the EEZ and further strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two countries."

Both countries are parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and are entitled to EEZs of 200 nautical miles. Under the convention, states have sovereign rights to explore and exploit, and conserve and manage natural resources, within their EEZ.


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