Next Generation Environmental Assessment in the Emerging High Seas Regime? An Evaluation of the State of the Negotiations
The International Journal of Maritime and Coastal Law (2020) (Forthcoming)
30 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2019 Last revised: 1 Sep 2020
Date Written: May 2, 2020
The objective of this article is to assess prospects for an effective EA regime for the High Seas through the BBNJ process. We start our review by considering key elements of the existing international legal regime for EAs. Twelve elements of “Next Generation EA” are then offered and explored as a standard against which to assess the state of the negotiations and as inspiration for a new legally binding instrument. This is followed with an overview of the current state of the negotiations, explored through formal submissions made to date and the first draft of a treaty text from May, 2019. We conclude with an assessment of the gaps between the current state of the negotiations and the “Next Generation EA” standard, and our thoughts how the new instrument could evolve through the ongoing negotiations to meet the “Next Generation EA” standard.
Keywords: environmental assessment, impact assessment, high seas, BBNJ, ABNJ, law of the sea
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