Ecuador´s maritime territory will be 5.3 times larger than the continental national territory, once the agreement enters into force with Costa Rica

El territorio marítimo de Ecuador será 5,3 veces más extenso que el territorio nacional continental, una vez que entre en vigor el acuerdo con Costa Rica

Quito, September 7, 2016

September 9, is historic for our country, Ecuador sets the last major milestone that finally sealed its borders: the maritime boundaries with Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean. In Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, new Navigational Charts will be delivered to Colombia and Costa Rica in the records of the water boundaries with those countries.

Thanks to the determination and responsibility of the Government of the Citizen Revolution, Ecuador has duly established all its land and sea borders. With the agreement, Ecuador´s maritime territory will be 5.3 times larger than the continental national territory. Ecuador, with this ratification can manage and retain all of its marine territory.

This new area will serve to enhance marine activities, protection and preservation of the marine environment ,scientific research, among others.

Both nations share maritime border taking into account the location of the Galapagos and Coco Island, located East of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean. This implies that the Exclusive Economic Zones of Costa Rica and Ecuador already have precise limits on the Pacific Ocean established by mutual agreement based on the geodetic model and under the principle of equity.

The presidents of Ecuador, Rafael Correa; Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos and Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, will participate in the presidential meeting. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long attend the event alongside their counterparts from the two brotherly countries.

This ceremony comes after the National Assembly´s approval of the “Maritime Delimitation Agreement between Ecuador and Costa Rica” on March 8, 2016 and Executive Decree No. 963 , March 11, 2016, in which the President of the Republic ratified the convention, which was published in Official Gazette Supplement No. 710, and the same agreement approved in Costa Rica, October 8, 2015 and published in the Act no. 9320.

More than half a century, Ecuador´s political and diplomatic initiative consolidated maritime system of 200 miles, which allows us today to establish our maritime border with Costa Rica. The Government of the Citizen Revolution culminated a long historical process of demarcation of all borders, land and sea. One example is that in June 2012, in San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas, Ecuador and Colombia signed the Joint Declaration, endorsing the technical results of the geodetic point at the mouth of Mataje river delimiting the maritime boundary.

Regarding this milestone in the delimitation of the maritime border of Ecuador, Minister Long said: “This is a historic day for Ecuador, because today we finally have established all boundaries. The principle of equity has marked these agreements and we are glad as Ecuadorians to know that in this 2016 our map is complete, with 5.3 times more maritime than continental territory.

These maps will be in posters and school books, accurate, complete maps, including our sea and our border with Costa Rica, which was the one we needed.

The expansion of our maritime border creates greater opportunities for research, science, technology and development at sea. Our neighborly relations, sovereignty and identity are stronger today than ever before. We can know our sea, investigate, establish regional cooperation mechanisms to explore our maritime, underwater resources, our natural wealth of flora and fauna, and affirm the relationship between the mainland and maritime potential”.

How the marine territory is measured?

To be clear about how much each country maritime territory there is a procedure of demarcation that divides it into three different spaces. Internal waters are found before a path of straight lines between the prominent points of the mainland, known as baselines. Taking them as a reference, the following 12 nautical miles are known as territorial sea. The exclusive economic zone 200 nautical conform miles from the baselines; after this it is called the High Seas and is a space used exclusively for peaceful purposes.

As to the seabed from the coastal zone, is called continental shelf up to 200 nautical miles, of which each country owns the resources found there. After this is, it is referred as “The Zone”. This area and all its resources are the common heritage of humanity.