Philippine Ambassador visits ANCORS
The Philippine Ambassador to Australia, Her Excellency Belen Anota, made a special visit to the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) on 21 February 2013.
She was accompanied by Philippine Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis from the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney.
The purpose of the visit was to meet with ANCORS staff to exchange ideas on the subject of maritime security and to explore new collaboration opportunities between ANCORS and the Philippine Government.
The Philippine Ambassador was welcomed by the Dean of Law, Professor Warwick Gullett.
“The visit was a wonderful opportunity for ANCORS staff to discuss with the Ambassador and the Consul General ways to tackle current marine management and security challenges in the South East Asian region,” Professor Gullett said.
“The Philippines is one of the world’s largest countries comprised entirely by an archipelago. It is no surprise that marine policy and maritime security are always priority agenda items for the Philippine Government,” he said.
Professor Clive Schofield, who together with Dr Chris Rahman gave a presentation about the research and training activities conducted by ANCORS staff, said the visit strengthened the ties that exist between ANCORS and various Philippine government departments and agencies.
“ANCORS has a long history of engagement with the Philippines, particularly in terms of providing policy and legal advice concerning its maritime claims, potential maritime boundaries, protection of its fisheries resources and wider maritime security issues,” Professor Schofield said.
The Philippines is one of nine countries that surround the world’s most complex and contested maritime space – the South China Sea. Many of those countries have overlapping claims to various groups of small and uninhabited islands, rocks and shoals. International tensions have increased recently following a series of confrontations between Chinese enforcement vessels and those of other countries.
ANCORS staff Associate Professor Robin Warner, Dr Anthony Morrison, Dr Mary Ann Palma and Dr Lowell Bautista and masters student Major Ronald Casanova also attended the meeting.
ANCORS is Australia’s only multidisciplinary university-based centre dedicated to research and education on ocean law, maritime security and natural marine resource management. It has 17 academic staff and will soon celebrate 30 PhD completions.