Indonesia as the largest archipelago in the world, certainly has a large water area with a wide sea area. In fact, the total area exceeds the total area of the total land area of Indonesia itself. In line with that, of course maintaining and supervising the zone becomes very important for Indonesia.
Talking about Indonesia’s sea area, it would not be complete if it did not discuss the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Before discussing more about the definition and function of the Exclusive Economic Zone, it is worth discussing a little history about this EEZ.
The basic concept of EEZ was first introduced in January 1971 by Kenya at the Asian-African Legal Constitutive Committee. In the following year, at the UN Seabed Committee, this concept was put forward again.
In the end, the basic concept of EEZ received a lot of support from countries in Asia and Africa. In fact, this concept also attracts countries in Latin America to adopt a similar concept on the patrimonial sea. After that, when UNCLOS started, the concept gave birth to a new concept known as the Exclusive Economic Zone.
Definition of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)
Definition of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is a boundary that applies 200 miles from the base of the sea, where the state has the right to natural resources in it, has the right to use and enforce its legal policies, and has freedom to navigate and fly over it.
ZEE distance measurement itself is done when the sea water is receding. Officially, the Indonesian EEZ boundary was only issued in 1980. This regulation also contains the right of the Indonesian government to regulate all exploration and exploitation activities on natural resources on the surface, at the bottom and also under the sea, as well as the right to conduct biological resource research as well as other marine resources.
Also Read: Definition of Special Economic Zones and List of Special Economic Zones in Indonesia.
Delimitation from Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)
Continuing the discussion on the Exclusive Economic Zone, it will also intersect with the delimitation of the EEZ itself. There are 4 things that concern the discussion this time, namely:
1. Outer boundary
The limit in EEZ itself is the outer boundary of the territorial sea. This broad boundary zone certainly cannot exceed 200 nautical miles or the equivalent of 370.4 km from the base line, or predetermined territorial beach area.
Some countries may not be able to claim 200 full nautical miles due to contact with neighboring countries. If this happens then these restrictions are regulated in international sea law.
3. The islands
Basically, all island territories might become EEZ. However, several things still must be considered. Although islands can normally be designated as EEZs, article 121 (3) of the Law of the Sea Convention contains if, “Stones that cannot bring benefits to human life or their economic life, cannot be EEZs.”
4. Areas that do not stand alone
Not only that, in areas that do not have their own independence or independent government whose status is known to the United Nations, or in areas that are still under colonial domination, it also does not apply. In Resolution III, adopted by UNCLOS III, states a number of provisions where rights and obligations are seen under the convention and must be implemented for the benefit of the people living in the region, with a view to promoting their security and development.
Article IV of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty states that EEZ cannot be claimed by the territory or country within the area where the treaty was made, or what is referred to as the area south of 60 degrees south.
Also Read: Knowing the Pancasila Economic System as the Identity of the Indonesian Economy.
Why is EEZ only 200 miles long?
The enactment of an area of 200 miles as the maximum area for EEO is certainly not without reason. Based on history and politics, 200 nautical miles are known to have no general geographical, ecological, and biological significance.
At the beginning of UNCLOS, the zone which was claimed by the coast at that time was 200 nautical miles. This claim was made by several Latin American and African countries.
To facilitate approval of the determination of the outer boundary of EEZ, a boundary of 200 nautical miles was chosen as the outer boundary. According to Prof. Hollick, the broad election occurred because of an accident. At that time, the Chilean state claimed to be motivated to protect the whale’s offshore operations and zone protection adopted from the 1939 Panama Declaration.
Many misconceptions about the zone. Not only as far as 200 nautical miles, in fact the extent of this is diverse. But certainly, no more than 300 nautical miles.
Exclusive Economic Zone Function (EEZ)
Based on the previous explanation, the function of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) can be interpreted as follows:
With the existence of EEZ, all natural resources in the sea belong to the coastal state. The legal policy also applies to freedom of navigation and flying over it, as well as planting cables and pipes under the sea.
Give the state the right to manufacture and use artificial islands, installations, and buildings within them.
Countries may conduct marine scientific research, protect and preserve the marine environment in accordance with the restrictions in force in the EEZ.
The community can use it as a place of livelihood and fulfillment of the potential needs of marine biota in it. However, it must also be subject to the laws in force in the country.
From the defense and military sectors, EEZ has a function as a defense and security media for the sea area. For Indonesia itself, this certainly has its advantages, considering that Indonesia is an archipelagic country which has a vast waters area.
Also Read: Indonesia’s Economic System and Problems It Faces.
Well, that is the discussion about the definition and function of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Now you understand, right?