The BBNJ negotiations are at a critical stage in the global effort to establish an effective regime to protect biodiversity in the high seas. One of the 4 elements of the regime being negotiated is to establish a environmental impact assessment process. In this session, I consider the prospects for an effective environmental impact assessment (EIA) regime through the BBNJ process and suggests improvements to the results of the negotiations. Key elements of effective EIA from the academic literature are introduced as a standard against which to evaluate the results of the negotiations and as inspiration for the EIA elements of a new legally binding instrument. While the negotiations have established a reasonably solid basis for effective project level assessments, further improvements are needed. Much more work remains on regional and strategic assessments and the proper integration of the EA regime into effective governance of the world’s ocean.
About Prof Doelle
Professor, and Canadian Chair, Marine Environmental Protection, World Maritime University, Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University (on leave). Prior to joining WMU in July 2019, Meinhard served as Professor of Law, and Associate Dean, Research at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, and as an Associate Director and Director of the Marine & Environmental Law Institute (MELAW). Meinhard has written on a variety of environmental law topics, including climate change, energy, invasive species, environmental assessments, and public participation in environmental decision-making. He is currently working on a book on Loss and Damage from Climate Change, and one on the new federal Impact Assessment Act in Canada.
Prof Doelle’ seminar is part of the 2020-21 SCELG Seminar series.