Boundary Demarcation: Bougainville Peace Agreement

BPA (B)(2):

5. Bougainville's jurisdiction will extend to sea-areas where the National Government has power.

6. The Constitutional Laws implementing the agreed autonomy arrangements will define Bougainville territory as extending to three nautical miles out to sea from the coasts of islands within the boundaries specified in the Organic Law on Provincial Boundaries.

7. The National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government will develop agreed arrangements for co-operation in the exercise of their respective powers and functions at sea.

8. The National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government will agree to equitable arrangements (additional to those agreed for fishing) for sharing revenues from activities in areas of sea and seabed beyond the guaranteed three-mile limit and within the Exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf associated with Bougainville territory.

9. The question of whether Bougainville's maritime boundaries should be extended beyond those agreed above will be determined through consultation between the National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government, bearing in mind:

(a) the mutual benefits that Bougainville and Papua New Guinea as a whole gain from Papua New Guinea's archipelagic status; and

(b) the agreed autonomy arrangements.

BPA (B)(6):

77. The autonomous Bougainville Government will have a representative in National Government Delegations engaged in the negotiation of new border agreements with Solomon Islands.

78. Future border agreements (other than those concerning defense or national security aspects) which affect the jurisdiction of the autonomous Bougainville Government will take effect only by agreement between the National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government.

Implementation History

2001

No Implementation

The peace agreement’s boundary demarcation provision was not implemented in 2001.

2002

No Implementation

In 2002, there was a small rift on boundary-related issues. Reportedly, “the ex-combatants broke into the firearms storage containers because the self-declared state of Mekamui extended its no-go zone boundary by 5 km”. The ex-combatants saw the boundary extension as a threat.1

  • 1. "Bougainville ex-combatants rearm themselves amid Papua New Guinea poll chaos," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 20, 2002.
2003

Minimum Implementation

The draft Bougainville constitution reportedly establishes a Boundary Commission to look at boundary issues.2

  • 2. "Papua New Guinea: Draft Bougainville constitution under consideration," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 16, 2003.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

On 14 January 2004, the National Government handed over the Constitution to the Autonomous Bougainville Government in Arawa.3 Article 1 of the Constitution recognizes the boundary of Bougainville as specified in Schedule 3 (the boundaries of Bougainville Province specified in the Schedule to the National Organic Law on Provincial Boundaries) of the constitution. According to Schedule 3:

Commencing at the point of intersection of the meridian 154 degrees east longitude with the Equator thence by the said Equator east to its intersection with the meridian 160 degrees east longitude thence by the said meridian 160 degrees east longitude south to its intersection with the parallel 4 degrees 50 minutes south latitude thence by the said parallel 4 degrees 50 minutes south latitude west to its intersection with the meridian 159 degrees east longitude thence by a straight line south-westerly to a point distant 6 nautical miles on a bearing of 42 degrees true from Cape Friendship thence by a straight line southerly to a point distance 4 nautical miles on a bearing of 70 degrees 30 minutes true from Cape Friendship aforesaid thence by a straight line south-westerly to a point distant 3 nautical miles due south from the southern point of the peninsula which bounds the harbour of Tonelei on the east thence by a straight line south-westerly to a point distant 3 nautical miles due south from Moila Point thence by a straight line westerly to a point distant 8 nautical miles on a bearing of 249 degrees true from Moila Point aforesaid thence by a straight line south-westerly to the intersection of the parallel 8 degrees south latitude with the meridian 154 degrees east longitude thence by the said meridian 154 east longitude north to the point of commencement.

  • 3. "Papua New Guinea government hands over Bougainville constitution," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, January 17, 2005.
2005

Full Implementation

The boundary of Bougainville was marked in the 2004 Bougainville Constitution.

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.