Showing posts with label maritime boundaries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maritime boundaries. Show all posts

Monday, March 20, 2017

2016 Year in Review: Country & Border Changes

Inside this Review of 2016:

Map of election results from the UK's "Brexit" referendum on leaving the European Union
    • Country name, capital, and flag changes
    • Border changes and disputed territories 
    • Separatist states and proposed new countries
    • Recognition of disputed countries 
    • Countries joining (and leaving) international organizations
    • Sea borders and seabed claims
    • New states and provinces within countries
    • Changes to countries' coastal contours and official languages
        And in companion articles:
        Rebel Control Around the World in 2016 
        Time Zones that Changed in 2016 

        It's PolGeoNow's mission to track changes to the world's countries, borders, and territories, whether it's happening formally on the books or unofficially on the ground. When new countries appear, borders change, and territorial disputes arise or are settled, you'll hear about it here. With 2016 now concluded, here's our look back at the events of the year!

        (For extra coverage of geography events in 2017, follow @PolGeoNow on Twitter!)

        Monday, February 10, 2014

        Map: Peru & Chile's Sea Dispute Settled in Court

        Two weeks ago, the International Court of Justice released a long-awaited ruling on Peru and Chile's disputed maritime boundary. Many headlines claimed that Peru "won" the case, but in fact it was not a full victory for either country. Below is our detailed map of Peru and Chile's seas and of the dispute, followed by an easy-to-understand summary of the case. 

        Map of Chile and Peru's territorial waters and exclusive economic zones (EEZ), plus the details of their territorial dispute at sea and disagreement of the land border. Shows the results of the Jan. 27, 2014 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) settling the dispute.
        Map by Evan Centanni (country coastlines and land borders from Natural Earth)
        Premium members click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Subscribe now!

        Article by Evan Centanni


        Disputed Territory
        Chile and Peru have just settled a decades-long dispute over the location of their maritime boundary (the border between their sea zones). A large wedge of sea off the countries' coast was claimed by both sides, in part because of its high value for the fishing industry. In 2008, Peru took Chile to court over the dispute. Their disagreements would be resolved by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a United Nations body in the Hague founded for the purpose of settling differences between U.N. member countries.

        Thursday, September 5, 2013

        Lies Your World Map Told You: 5 Ways You're Being Misled

        Unfortunately, most world political maps aren't telling you the whole story. The idea that Earth's land is cleanly divvied up into nation-states - one country for each of the world's peoples - is more an imaginative ideal than a reality. Read on to learn about five ways your map is lying to you about borders, territories, and even the roster of the world's countries.

        Map of the world's countries according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
        The lines and coloring on this map are hiding major truths about the world's countries.
        (Source: U.S. CIA; public domain)

        Thursday, April 11, 2013

        What is North Korea?

        North Korea's threats of war have captured the world's attention in recent weeks, leaving citizens of other East Asian countries anxiously awaiting the latest news. A new war is unlikely, but how much do you know about North Korea, its international status, and its dispute with the south?

        Map of North Korea and South Korea
        Map by Johannes Barre & Patrick Mannion (CC BY-SA) (source)
        What is North Korea?
        Located on the northern half of the Korean Peninsula between South Korea and China (and sharing a short border with Russia), North Korea is a medium-sized East Asian country of about 24 million people. Despite its size, it boasts the fourth-largest army in the world, and has remained officially at war with South Korea since 1950.

        Sometimes considered one of the world's last remaining communist states, North Korea actually claims no longer to follow communist ideology. However, it surely does hold the distinction of having the world's most closed borders, with its totalitarian government tightly controlling the flow of information and people in and out of the country.

        Tuesday, March 12, 2013

        Map: The Falkland Islands' Disputed Seas

        The Falkland Islands, a South Atlantic territory disputed between the U.K. and Argentina, held a status referendum this week in which 99.8% of voters defied Argentina by choosing to remain British. But it's not just about the islands - also at stake are legal rights to the sea for hundreds of miles around.
        Map of maritime jurisdiction in the seas surrounding the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), including territorial sea, internal waters, and exclusive economic zone (EEZ)
        Zones of maritime jurisdiction around the Falkland Islands, highlighting area disputed between the U.K and Argentina. Map by Evan Centanni (country coastlines from the Natural Earth dataset). All rights reserved.
        The Disputed Seas of the Falkland Islands
        The Falkland Islands are administered by the U.K. as an overseas territory, but are also claimed based on historical arguments by Argentina, which calls them "las Islas Malvinas". Both countries have signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which defines ownership and legal rights for the waters surrounding coastal countries. According to the UNCLOS, each country is entitled to three basic zones of control in its surrounding seas:

        Sunday, June 5, 2011

        News Bits: June 2011

        "News Bits" posts cover minor political geography events from the previous month. Although the news may be of great political relevance, these events haven't (yet) affected major changes to the shapes, sovereignty, or international positions of the world's countries.

        Abyei's location within Sudan
        (yellow). The south (blue) gains
        independence this July. Based
        on this map (license: CC BY-SA).
        Sudan Government Forces Overrun Disputed Abyei
        The Abyei Area, subject of a territorial dispute between the central Government of Sudan and the autonomous Southern Sudan region, has been invaded by Sudanese government forces. Southern troops, who had shared joint control of the area with the central government, have been driven out, along with many of the area's inhabitants. Southern Sudan is set to become an independent country this July, based on the 2005 peace agreement that ended Sudan's second civil war. A referendum was planned for Abyei residents to choose whether they would stay in Sudan or join the new Republic of South Sudan, but it was never held due to disagreements about who was eligible to vote. The Sudan government in Khartoum has asserted that it will not give up Abyei, and southern president Salva Kiir has promised not to go to war again over the territory.

        Israel with occupied territories (green).
        The PLO claims both the West Bank
        and Gaza Strip, but they are currently
        ruled by rival factions (map source).
        West Bank & Gaza Strip to be Reunited
        Rival Palestinian political parties Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a new unity government in the coming months, which will effectively reunite their respective territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Both groups claimed control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government after a brief civil war following the 2006 elections, in which Hamas won a majority of seats in the previously Fatah-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council. The armed clash left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip, while Fatah retained its authority in the Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank. Known to the U.N. as the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are claimed as the State of Palestine by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), parent organization of the PA. Over half of the U.N.'s member countries have recognized the state's independence, but the U.N. itself has not. Furthermore, the territories remain under military occupation by Israel, which controls much of the West Bank as well as all air space and territorial waters in the region.

        Peruvian and Ecuadorian waters, with the newly agreed
        upon boundary marked in yellow. My own work, based
        on data sources listed on map (terms of use).




        Ecuador & Peru Define Sea Border
        The neighboring South American countries of Ecuador and Peru have formally agreed on a boundary between their respective territorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. Although the location of the border was never actively in dispute, its acceptance had been called into question by Peru's ongoing territorial dispute with Chile, in which Peru claims a 1952 agreement between the three countries did not technically establish the location of their maritime borders. The new agreement is widely seen as a move by Peru to gain Ecuador's support as the case of the Peru-Chile conflict heads to the International Court of Justice. The agreed upon boundary is located along the parallel of 3° 23' 33.96" S, originating at the point where the countries' land border reaches the ocean.

        Libya as of June 1, 2011. Cities controlled by Gaddafi
        government in green, rebel-held cities in black, and
        areas of ongoing fighting in blue. Public domain map
        from Wikipedia (source).
        Libyan Rebels Gain Further Recognition
        Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) over the last month gained diplomatic recognition from five more national governments, bringing to 11 the list of countries recognizing its legitimacy. The NTC forms the political leadership of the rebel forces fighting for control of the North African country against dictator Muammar Gaddafi, in a civil war provoked by Gaddafi's violent crackdown on popular protests last February. Although Libya's independence is already recognized by the U.N. and all of it's members, countries have begun to make the special diplomatic gesture of switching their recognition from Gaddafi's government to the NTC. Recent additions to the list are Jordan, Russia, and Malta; two other countries, Senegal and Turkey, have acknowledged the NTC's status as a legitimate opposition group, while still maintaining ties with Gaddafi. Six other countries, starting with France in early March, had all previously recognized the NTC as Libya's sole representative, some of them expelling Gaddafi's diplomats and sending ambassadors to the rebel command center in Benghazi. As Gaddafi's forces continue to face NATO bombing attacks, the war has ground to a near-stalemate, with Gaddafi controlling the capital city of Tripoli and several smaller western cities, while the rebels control the eastern half of the country and some areas of the west.