Author Topic: Benham Rise  (Read 21610 times)

adroth

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Benham Rise
« on: September 26, 2016, 04:07:20 AM »
From: http://cdnimages.abs-cbnnews.com/topics/others/20120728_benhamrise.jpg



======

UN approves PH territorial claim to Benham Rise
By: Kristine L. Alave
@inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer
01:20 AM April 28th, 2012
Benham Rise belongs to the Philippines.

The United Nations has approved the Philippines’ territorial claim to Benham Rise, an undersea landmass in the Pacific Ocean potentially rich in mineral and natural gas deposits, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.

“We own Benham Rise now,” Paje said in a media interview. “This is for future Filipinos,” he added, noting that the 13-million-hectare area off the coast of Aurora province has been shown to have rich mineral deposits.

Paje said the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) sent the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) a letter last week informing the agency that the landmass is part of the country’s continental shelf and territory.

Benham Rise, a seismically active region facing Luzon’s eastern seaboard, is rising slowly to the surface of the Pacific Ocean, Paje said. Perhaps, in a million years—a blink in the planet’s geological time—it will be habitable, he said.

Larger than Luzon

The plateau is a massive formation of basalt, a common volcanic rock, and is within coordinates 119°30’E to 132°00’E and 12°10’N to 20°30’N latitude.

< Edited >

Despite Benham’s proximity to the Philippines and its location within the country’s exclusive economic zone, the government did not claim it until 2008. Then, the next year, the government submitted a formal claim to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The Philippine submission noted that the country reserves the right to submit further claims in the area.

The Philippines is the sole claimant of Benham Rise. The country is currently embroiled in territorial disputes over several islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

< Edited >

BENHAM RISE is a 13-million-hectare undersea region that lies east of Luzon and off the provinces of Isabela and Aurora.

Also known as Benham Plateau, it is a massive formation of basalt, a common volcanic rock, and is described in a study as a thickened portion of the Philippine sea plate’s oceanic crust.

The formation lies within the continental shelf of the Philippines as defined by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), under which a coastal state’s exclusive economic zone extends 370 kilometers (200 nautical miles) from its continental shelf, while its extended continental shelf extends for another 278 km (150 nautical miles).

< Edited >

In August last year, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje announced that the Philippines will gain additional territory should the United Nations approve the country’s claim to Benham, which the country submitted to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in New York on April 8, 2009.

According to Paje, an American geologist, Andrew Benham, discovered the area, which was between 40 meters and 2,000 meters below the waterline, in 1933. Paje said gas deposits in the area would enable the country to achieve energy sufficiency.  Source: Inquirer Archives

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/183779/un-approves-ph-territorial-claim-to-benham-rise#ixzz4LIzCFFUA
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« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 05:30:55 AM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 04:08:00 AM »
University of the Philippines expedition

http://youtu.be/nvQrGGNgsGQ

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2017, 04:49:02 PM »
* Benham Rise

China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise | Philstar - March 10, 2017
Quote
MANILA, Philippines - Chinese survey ships have not only conducted oceanographic research at Recto or Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea but also at Benham Rise in the Pacific, which has been recognized by the United Nations as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana bared yesterday.

Lorenzana described China’s latest move as “very concerning” and said he had ordered the Navy to accost and drive away the service ship from Benham Rise if it is seen again.

He also said the Philippines lodged a diplomatic protest to assert its ownership of Benham Rise.

“Last year, they were monitored there for about three months,” Lorenzana said, referring to the Chinese.

< snipped >

Asked why the ships might be surveying in Benham Rise, Lorenzana said he received information the vessels were “looking for a place to put submarines.”

Lorenzana said based on obtained satellite monitoring, the Chinese service ship had to sail from Benham Rise to Surigao City and dock to have one of their sailors undergo hospital treatment after an accident.

“When he (Chinese sailor) got well, he left for China,” Lorenzana said.

Benham Rise is an underwater landmass believed to be potentially rich in mineral and natural gas deposits.

Juramentado

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2017, 09:17:37 PM »
Camilo Osias NB was originally part of early considerations as an EDCA recipient base. DND should push through the improvements anyway. That's a good place for a small detachment of King Airs, putting up visual patrols over the Rise and the Straits.

Coast Watch in this case is all pointed the wrong way. Need more Littoral Monitoring stations to fill in thr mostly blank East part of the Fusion Picture.

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2017, 07:17:50 AM »
From: http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part6.htm

PART VI

CONTINENTAL SHELF

Article76

Definition of the continental shelf

1.   The continental shelf of a coastal State comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance.

2.   The continental shelf of a coastal State shall not extend beyond the limits provided for in paragraphs 4 to 6.

3.   The continental margin comprises the submerged prolongation of the land mass of the coastal State, and consists of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise. It does not include the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof.

4.   (a)   For the purposes of this Convention, the coastal State shall establish the outer edge of the continental margin wherever the margin extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, by either:

(i)   a line delineated in accordance with paragraph 7 by reference to the outermost fixed points at each of which the thickness of sedimentary rocks is at least 1 per cent of the shortest distance from such point to the foot of the continental slope; or

(ii)   a line delineated in accordance with paragraph 7 by reference to fixed points not more than 60 nautical miles from the foot of the continental slope.

(b)   In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the foot of the continental slope shall be determined as the point of maximum change in the gradient at its base.

5.   The fixed points comprising the line of the outer limits of the continental shelf on the seabed, drawn in accordance with paragraph 4 (a)(i) and (ii), either shall not exceed 350 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured or shall not exceed 100 nautical miles from the 2,500 metre isobath, which is a line connecting the depth of 2,500 metres.

6.   Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 5, on submarine ridges, the outer limit of the continental shelf shall not exceed 350 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. This paragraph does not apply to submarine elevations that are natural components of the continental margin, such as its plateaux, rises, caps, banks and spurs.

7.   The coastal State shall delineate the outer limits of its continental shelf, where that shelf extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, by straight lines not exceeding 60 nautical miles in length, connecting fixed points, defined by coordinates of latitude and longitude.

8.   Information on the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured shall be submitted by the coastal State to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf set up under Annex II on the basis of equitable geographical representation. The Commission shall make recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of the outer limits of their continental shelf. The limits of the shelf established by a coastal State on the basis of these recommendations shall be final and binding.

9.   The coastal State shall deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations charts and relevant information, including geodetic data, permanently describing the outer limits of its continental shelf. The Secretary-General shall give due publicity thereto.

10.   The provisions of this article are without prejudice to the question of delimitation of the continental shelf between States with opposite or adjacent coasts.


Article77

Rights of the coastal State over the continental shelf

1.   The coastal State exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources.

2.   The rights referred to in paragraph 1 are exclusive in the sense that if the coastal State does not explore the continental shelf or exploit its natural resources, no one may undertake these activities without the express consent of the coastal State.

3.   The rights of the coastal State over the continental shelf do not depend on occupation, effective or notional, or on any express proclamation.

4.   The natural resources referred to in this Part consist of the mineral and other non-living resources of the seabed and subsoil together with living organisms belonging to sedentary species, that is to say, organisms which, at the harvestable stage, either are immobile on or under the seabed or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or the subsoil.

====

A Practical Overview of Article 76 of the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea
Sharveen Persand
Project Officer, Mauritius Oceanography Institute
United Nations – The Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellow 2005

http://www.un.org/depts/los/nippon/unnff_programme_home/fellows_pages/fellows_papers/persand_0506_mauritius.pdf
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 07:30:58 AM by adroth »

gemini1

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 09:14:28 AM »
Bigger than Luzon?!! and we are the exclusive owner, but does this mean no foreign vessels can sail through the area, without approval from the RP? kinda like foreign aircrafts passing through our air space?

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 09:18:51 AM »
Bigger than Luzon?!! and we are the exclusive owner, but does this mean no foreign vessels can sail through the area, without approval from the RP? kinda like foreign aircrafts passing through our air space?

Nope. It's about resources, not about extending our territorial sea.

From: http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part6.htm


Article77

Rights of the coastal State over the continental shelf

1.   The coastal State exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources.

2.   The rights referred to in paragraph 1 are exclusive in the sense that if the coastal State does not explore the continental shelf or exploit its natural resources, no one may undertake these activities without the express consent of the coastal State.

3.   The rights of the coastal State over the continental shelf do not depend on occupation, effective or notional, or on any express proclamation.


Kylyne

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2017, 09:29:20 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong sir, this mans that when it was awarded to us its purpose was not to extend our territory but to give us the full rights to get whatever resources is available in that area?  Does this apply to the Arbitration's court ruling on West Philippine Sea?

LionFlyer

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2017, 10:00:05 AM »
http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1444983.shtml

The specific comments from China's MFA as follows:

Quote
Q: The Philippine Defense Secretary said that Chinese ships had been spotted in waters near Benham Rise. The Philippine side is highly concerned about that as Benham Rise is UN-recognized territory of the Philippines. Do you have any comment on that?

A: Another journalist asked the same question yesterday. We checked on that and would like to make the following response:

First, in 2012, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the submission made by the Philippines in 2009 in respect of the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in the Benham Rise region, enabling the Philippines to carry out exploration and development of natural resources in this region. But it does not mean that the Philippines can take it as its own territory.

Second, according to international law including UNCLOS, a coastal state's rights over the continental shelf do not affect the legal status of the superjacent waters or of the air space above those waters, nor do they affect foreign ships' navigation freedom in the coastal state's EEZ and on the high seas, or their innocent passage through the coastal state's territorial sea as supported by international law.

Third, according to the competent authorities, Chinese vessels for marine research did sail across relevant waters to the northeast of Luzon, the Philippines last year, exercising navigation freedoms and the right to innocent passage only, without conducting any other activities or operations. The remarks by some individuals from the Philippines are not consistent with the facts.

Fourth, actually, in response to the Philippines' concerns about activities by Chinese marine research vessels, foreign ministries of the two countries have had a friendly exchange of views last January to sort out the facts and properly address the issue.

Fifth, working together, China and the Philippines have properly resolved their differences, added momentum to the development of the bilateral relationship, and driven forward practical cooperation across the board. It serves the common interests of the two countries and peoples, and meets the aspiration shared by peace-loving countries of the region and beyond. It is hoped that individuals of the Philippines will stop playing up the false information and do more to promote mutual trust.

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2017, 10:02:10 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong sir, this mans that when it was awarded to us its purpose was not to extend our territory but to give us the full rights to get whatever resources is available in that area?

Yup. That's what UNCLOS Article 77 states 

Quote
Does this apply to the Arbitration's court ruling on West Philippine Sea?

No. The arbitration ruling focused on the validity of China's 9-dashed line claim in the South China Sea, not the Philippine Sea where Benham Rise is. It also defined the status of the islands in the WPS as rocks, not true islands. Which means they don't have their own EEZs. Which is actually good for us because it means that regardless of who eventually is judged to be owners of these islands, they won't affect our EEZ.

Kylyne

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2017, 05:32:11 PM »
Thanks for the info.  8)

Love this forum.   ;D

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2017, 02:08:08 PM »
Philippine has sovereign rights but not sovereignty over Benham Rise
March 14, 2017

http://asiamaritime.net/philippine-has-sovereign-rights-but-not-sovereignty-over-benham-rise/

The Philippine has sovereign rights over Benham Rise but the country does not have sovereignty over it, this is the clarification made by stanched West Philippine Sea defender Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as shared by former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan III.

“Benham rise is not part of Philippine national territory because we do not have sovereignty over Benham Rise. However, we have sovereign rights (less than sovereignty) over Benham Rise because we have exclusive right to explore and exploit the oil, gas and other mineral resources in Benham Rise which has been confirmed by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf as part of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) of the Philippines (which is outside Philippine EEZ),” Carpio said in Alunan’s post.

According to UNCLOS, “the continental shelf of a coastal State comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea.”

Moreover, Article 77 Paragraph 1 of UNCLOS says “the coastal State exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources.”

Further, Article 78 Paragraph 2 says “the exercise of the rights of the coastal State over the continental shelf must not infringe or result in any unjustifiable interference with navigation and other rights and freedoms of other States as provided for in this Convention.”

Jusctice Carpio added that “other states, like China, have the right to conduct in Benham rise (1) fishery research because the fish in the ECS belongs to mankind; (2) surveys on water salinity and water currents because the water column in the ECS belongs to mankind; and (3) depth soundings for navigational purposes because there is freedom of navigation in the ECS.”

He noted that if the Chinese vessels were looking for submarine passages and parking spaces, that would be part of freedom of navigation and the Philippines has no reason to complain. Adding that if the Chinese vessels were conducting seismic surveys to look for oil, gas and minerals, then they could not do that because UNLCOS has reserved the oil, gas and minerals in the ECS to the Philippines.

< Edited >

Ayoshi

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2017, 03:23:14 PM »
How Benham Rise was won | abs-cbn news
Quote
PH invested over P100-M in multi-agency effort to claim this continental shelf

This is according to Dr. Mahar Lagmay, a professor at the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences, and a scientist who was part of the team that argued for the country’s claims before a United Nations commission.

Lagmay recalled how it was a “very difficult” effort for the Philippines to present its claims over Benham Rise since it required a lot of geological work and political will.

< snipped >

Members of the team who worked on the country’s claims over Benham Rise came from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice, National Security Council, National Institute of Geological Sciences, UP College of Law, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, Lagmay said.

The country's claim to Benham Rise, a 13-million-hectare area located east of Luzon island believed to be gas-rich, was approved by the United Nations in 2012.

dr demented

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2017, 09:50:48 PM »
http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=&nid=1&rid=974588

Quote
PN ships to regularly patrol Benham Rise - Lorenzana

MANILA, March 24 (PNA) --- Philippine Navy (PN) ships will now be a common sight in the 13-million hectare Benham Rise which lies off the Aurora and Isabela coast.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed this on Friday shortly after the deployment of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16) in the area was made public.

The ship and her crew were conducting sovereignty patrols in the wake of reports that Chinese survey ships were spotted in the maritime area last year.

"The Navy will henceforth regularly patrol Benham Rise partly due to past Chinese activities there but more importantly, because it is part of our continental shelf," he added.

Lorenzana said Philippine presence in Benham Rise is only fitting as the territory was awarded to the country by the United Nations in 2012.

"Our next activity is to have the area surveyed to clearly determine its limits, depths, coral formations, etc," the DND chief stressed.

Earlier, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said BRP Gregorio Velasquez (AGR-702), the Philippine Navy (PN)'s sole survey and hydrographic ship, can be deployed for survey missions off the Benham Rise should President Rodrigo Duterte and Lorenzana formalize the order.

The BRP Gregorio Velasquez (formerly the R/V Melville) was one of the two ex-American ships pledged by then President Barack Obama during his visit to the Philippines during the APEC Leaders Summit in November 2015.

The other ship was the USCGC Boutwell which is now renamed the BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17) and the third Hamilton-class cutter in the PN service.

The BRP Gregorio Velasquez was commissioned into PN service in June 2016.

The R/V Melville was used in the 1976 movie King Kong, starring Jessica Lange.

It was used specifically because of its Hypoid propulsion drive (at that time), which allowed it to move sideways. This type of drive is used on research vessels for station keeping in the ocean over drill and coring sites.

Per policy, auxiliary research vessels are to be named after national scientists, hence her namesake, Dr. Gregorio Velasquez, a pioneer in Philippine physiology.

Velasquez was elected as academician on 1978 and conferred as National Scientist on 1982.

He was conferred with a Distinguished Science Medal and Diploma of Honor from the Republic of the Philippines (1956), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1956-57), Men of Science, Division of Biological Sciences in1969, World's Who's Who in Sciences in 1970 and the Republic of the Philippines Cultural Heritage award in 1972. (PNA)
PRIAM F. NEPOMUCENO

Juramentado

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2017, 01:31:28 AM »
Capacity. Especially when they have to take one of the GDPs off the line to install the Sea Giraffes.