On February 28, Chile presented to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) of the United Nations the submission on the Extended Continental Shelf to the West of the Chilean Antarctic Territory.
This submission is the result of a joint effort between the Continental Shelf Unit of the National Department of State Borders and Boundaries, the Chilean Navy, the Continental Shelf National Committee, and our universities: Universidad de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, and Universidad de Concepción.
After 13 years of scientific and technical research, the existence of an Extended Continental Shelf covering more than 210,000 km2 was established.
The continental shelf is the natural prolongation of the land territory of States under the sea. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which Chile is a State Party since 1997, contains two concepts of continental shelf: the “scientific continental shelf”, which corresponds to the geological or geomorphological extension of the land territory under the sea, and the “juridical continental shelf” which corresponds to the seabed and subsoil up to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the coast, regardless of the geomorphology of the seabed.
This important milestone is added to the submission that Chile made in December 2020 to the CLCS regarding the Extended Continental Shelf in the Easter Island Province.
This submission ratifies Chile’s commitment to Antarctica and demonstrates the active role of our country in terms of scientific research and conservation of the continent.