From the February 2003 Idaho Observer:
LOST mappers divvy up continental shelves
UN treaty prompts biggest land grab in world history
by The Idaho Observer
The Ocean Mapping Group at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Canada is hiring itself out to the nations of the world to map their continental shelves. The Canadian ocean mappers are busy these days as countries rush to get their undersea areas mapped and forwarded to the UN with claims attached.
In 2001, Russia was the first country to submit its claim for shelf space per the 1994 UN Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).
In essence, LOST provides for nations to map areas adjacent to their shores, submit a claim and allow the unelected international body to arbitrate who gets what percentage of the $trillions in untapped resources that lie as yet undisturbed beneath the sea.
UNB mapper David Monahan calls it the largest land grab in human history.
The nations of the world, while dealing with all their other problems, are scurrying to divvy up the remaining 2/3 of the Earth's surface.
According to a report from UNB, countries have six years to map their shelves and submit their claims to the UN Division of Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea.
LOST was proposed by UN resolution in 1982. By 1994 it had accumulated enough signatories to declare LOST.
Canada intends to stake claim to all of the Grand Banks -- an area of approximately 350,000 square miles in its eastern seaboard alone.
Monahan states that 20 percent of the world's oil still lies, untapped, under the sea. He also estimates that the amount of methane they have been able to discover so far could run the world for about 80 to 100 years.
Monahan predicts that LOST will create a whole new set of circumstances to increase already strained international tensions. Conflicts will undoubtedly evolve as nations jockey for position to stake claims to the richest and largest chunks of what had previously been recognized as international waters.
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