Environmental Impact Assessment in Antarctica

THEORY AND PRACTICE OF TRANSBOUNDARY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT, Kees Bastmeijer, Timo Koivurova, eds., Brill/Martinus Nijhoff, 2008

30 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2008

Date Written: October 1, 2007

Abstract

This publication focuses on the instrument of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that has been developed within the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) as one of the tools to promote environmental protection. The states involved in the ATS already recognized the importance of this instrument in 1975 (Recommendation VIII-13). Since then, within the ATS, the EIA instrument has been further developed through the adoption of recommendations. In 1991, with the adoption of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, EIA became obligatory for most types of activities in the region south of 60 degrees South latitude, including scientific research and tourism activities.

Section 2 provides a brief introduction to the ATS and a general overview of the history of Antarctic EIA. Section 3 describes the main characteristics of the Antarctic EIA system, particularly based on an analysis of the Protocol's provisions and related instruments (e.g. guidelines). Section 4 discusses general trends and developments in the practice of EIA for Antarctic activities. Section 5 discusses a case study of EIA practice as it applies to the proposal by Russia for scientific drilling into subglacial Lake Vostok. Section 6 contains the main conclusions, including the stronger and weaker characteristics of the Antarctic EIA system.

Keywords: Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment, Antarctic, Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation, wilderness, historic values, cumulative impacts, Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, EIA, global commons, no harm principle, consultation, tourism, lake vostok

JEL Classification: K32, K33, N50, Q26

Suggested Citation

Roura, Ricardo and Bastmeijer, Kees, Environmental Impact Assessment in Antarctica (October 1, 2007). THEORY AND PRACTICE OF TRANSBOUNDARY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT, Kees Bastmeijer, Timo Koivurova, eds., Brill/Martinus Nijhoff, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1297285

Ricardo Roura

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Kees Bastmeijer (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/webwijs/show/?uid=c.j.bastmeijer

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