Guiding principles and approaches for EIAs/SEAs

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From Chair's indicative suggestions document 31/05/17:

The text would set out the principles and approaches guiding the conduct of environmental impact assessments in areas beyond national jurisdiction, such as:

  • transparency;
  • public availability of environmental impact assessment reports;
  • public participation;
  • ecosystem approach;
  • precautionary approach;
  • use of the best available scientific information;
  • respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of coastal States;
  • respect for the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal States over their continental shelf, including beyond 200 nautical miles where applicable.

From President's aid to discussion 25/06/18:

General principles and approaches

(a) Which general principles and approaches pertaining to environmental impact assessments could be included in the instrument?

(b) How would the instrument best give effect to the identified general principles and approaches in the context of environmental impact assessments?


Suggestion 1: Precautionary principle[edit | edit source]

Given the serious and potentially irreversible nature of harm to the marine environment, lack of full certainty should not stand in the way of decisions that establish mechanisms and processes necessary to safeguard the world’s biodiversity.

References: UN Fish Stocks Agreement art. 6.2; International North Sea Conferences (1987); Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992), UN Convention on Biological Diversity (1992); Helsinki Convention (1992); OSPAR Convention (1992); UN Fish Stocks Agreement (1995); IUCN Res. 3.075 Applying the Precautionary Principle in environmental decision-making and management (2004); IUCN Res. 1.45 The Precautionary Principle (1996); IUCN, Guidelines for Applying the Precautionary Principle to Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management (2007).

Suggestion 2: Ecosystem approach[edit | edit source]

Apply the ecosystem approach, broaden the scope of sectoral management to include cumulative impacts and encourage cross-sectoral integration.

References: FAO, The Ecosystem Based Approach to Fisheries: Issues, Terminology, Principles, Institutional Foundations, Implementation, and Outlook (2003) FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 443; FAO, Fisheries Management: The ecosystem approach to fisheries and the human dimension to the ecosystem approach to fisheries (2009) Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries 4 Suppl. 2 Add; Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD Guidelines: The Ecosystem Approach (2004); CBD Art. 2.

Also see[edit | edit source]