Content of EIA reports

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From the report of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee, 31/07/17 :

The text would address the required content of environmental impact assessment reports, such as:

  • description of the planned activities;
  • description of reasonable alternatives to the planned activities,

including non-action alternatives;

  • description of scoping results;
  • description of the potential effects of the planned activities on the marine environment, including cumulative impacts and any transboundary impacts;
  • description of the environment likely to be affected;
  • description of any socio-economic impacts;
  • description of any measures for avoiding, preventing and mitigating impacts;
  • description of any follow-up actions, including any monitoring and management programmes;
  • uncertainties and gaps in knowledge; and
  • a non-technical summary.

President's aid to discussions: 25/06/18:

Content of environmental impact assessment reports

(a) Taking into account the elements in section III of the report of the Preparatory Committee with respect to the required content of environmental impact assessment reports, what components of environmental impact assessment reports would be included in the instrument? Are there any additional components that could be included?

(b) How much detail on the content of environmental impact assessment reports would be set out in the instrument?

(c) In addressing transboundary impacts, would an activity-oriented approach (based on the location of the activity), an impact-oriented approach (based on the location of the impact) or a combination of both be adopted? What other approaches, if any, could be considered?

Suggestion 1: Report basic requirements[edit | edit source]

Every EIA should conclude with a report of a reasoned decision, explaining the basis for the decision, including reference to available science and responses to public comment.


Suggestion 2: Minimum content specified in annex[edit | edit source]

Content of Environmental Impact Statement/SEA Report is specified in Appendix of Annex to the agreement. It could include:

  • description of proposed activity/plan/programme
  • description of initial environmental reference state
  • assessment of likely/potential impacts
  • description of expected biophysical changes resulting from proposed activity
  • identification of ecosystem services
  • description of methods, data and underlying

References: IUCN Policy Brief VIII, Espoo Convention Art 4 (EIA documentation); Appendix II (content of EIA documentation), Kiev Protocol Arts 6(1) and 7, Appendix 4

Suggestion 3: Minimum content to be developed[edit | edit source]

Provide for decision-making body to identify guidelines/minimum requirements for EIS/SEA Reports

References: Espoo Convention Art 4, Kiev Protocol Art 6(3)

Suggestion 4: Climate factors[edit | edit source]

Content of EIAs/SEAs to include:

  • assessment of vulnerability to climate stressors;
  • assessment of ecosystem services provided by the area of interest;
  • potential impacts on ecosystem services.

Note: Increasing emissions of carbon dioxide are changing the ocean in fundamental ways, thereby increasing the vulnerability of marine biodiversity to other stressors. It is important that EIA thresholds take into account a more comprehensive perspective, including climate factors.


Suggestion 5: Standards for baseline analyses[edit | edit source]

Where possible, baseline analyses and assessments should be based on information gathered from no-take marine reserves used as reference areas for management.

Note: As much as possible decision making processes related to EIAs and SEAs need to ensure the protection of ecosystem services of ABNJ that reflect the multiple life stages, migrations, water or chemical movements, and other transboundary processes that are most accurately captured in no-take reserves.


Suggestion 6: Include all activities with impact on ABNJ[edit | edit source]

All activities that have an impact on ABNJ should be subject to EIA.


Suggestion 7: Cumulative impacts[edit | edit source]

EIAs and SEAs should consider cumulative impacts. The instrument specifies the types of cumulative impacts taken into account, including impacts of climate change such as warming, de-oxygenation and acidification.

References:   Canada BILL C-69 (S 22 Factors -- impact assessment).

Also see[edit | edit source]