Strategic Environmental Assessments

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

The text could address strategic environmental assessments.

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

Would the instrument include provisions on strategic environmental assessments? If so:

(a) What would be the scope of such assessments?

(b) Would strategic environmental assessments with respect to marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction be conducted at the global or regional level?

(c) Who would be responsible for conducting of strategic environmental assessments?

(d) How would the results of the strategic environmental assessments be followed-up on?

Suggestion 1: Provide for strategic environmental assessments[edit | edit source]

Require that an SEA is carried out for plans, programs and policies which are likely to have significant impacts on the marine environment of ABNJ.

Note: Conducting an SEA can ensure that the impacts of a plan, program or policy are fully considered and addressed at the earliest stages of decision making. It provides a method of anticipating and avoiding cumulative adverse impacts on the environment that can arise from multiple activities occurring within one geographic region, including from lingering past projects, concurrent present projects, and foreseeable future projects. An SEA is particularly valuable when considering broader scale marine areas, where a range of human activities occur over long time frames; making it a valuable tool for ensuring the sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Due to their cross-sectoral nature and scale, SEAs provide an important opportunity to harmonize elements of best practice in environmental assessments across a region.

References: Kiev Protocol to the Espoo Convention

Suggestion 2: Conducted by sectoral or regional body[edit | edit source]

SEA conducted by a sectoral or regional body with competence in ABNJ.

References: ISA, Antarctic Treaty system

Suggestion 3: Conducted by ILBI body[edit | edit source]

Where there is no regional or sectoral body, SEA could be conducted by ILBI.


Suggestion 4: Review by ILBI body[edit | edit source]

Where regional or sectoral body already has SEA power, the ILBI body could perform a review function to check whether best practice standards specified in annex to ILBI have been met.


Suggestion 5: Monitoring of implementation[edit | edit source]

Monitoring, review and public reporting of regional or sectoral implementation of any mitigation conditions recommended during review of the SEA.


Also see[edit | edit source]