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  • Robin Coenen

  • Data Visualization (MS)

    With Compliments to the Secretary General — Visualizing Maritime Claims at the UN in regard to the Continental Shelf
    Unlike the landmass, divided by many borders, most of our maps and mental images represent the sea free of delimitations. This, however, does not depict reality. A large part of the ocean is divided into different zones. The majority of these zones are legally regulated by the Convention on the Law of the Sea. Most relevant for this project is the 200-nautical-miles big "Exclusive Economic Zone." Within this zone, states have the right to exploit all living and dead resources. Article 76 of the Convention provides States the rights to claim exclusive economic territory even beyond these 200 nautical miles. My thesis argues that boundaries are contested and that visually depicting the claims of sovereign states upon ocean territories make the legal and political implications on the continental shelf apparent to the public. How much exploitable area is gained through the claim and which stakeholders are involved? The level of transparency created by the visualization will exert beneficial pressure on those states to abide by agreements and to express territorial ambitions carefully. The visualization furthermore renders the claims understandable and visible to the general public and contextualizes the nature of the Convention on the Law of the Sea itself.
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