Solomon Islands and two Pacific island countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding over the Extended Continental Shelf Claims Submission to the United Nations on the Ontong Java Plateau .
The other Governments involved are the Federated States of Micronesia and Papua New Guinea.
The continental shelf is an undersea extension of a continent which can stretch for many miles out to sea in some cases.
Many nations have asserted mineral and land rights to their associated continental shelves, since this region of the ocean is rich in natural resources such as marine life.
By convention, many countries defend their continental shelves as territorial waters, since they are concerned about the exploitation of their natural resources.
The Solomon Island Broadcasting Corporation says the signing of the agreement paves the way for the three Governments to advance their work on their joint submission to the United Nations by 13 May 2009.