A Precautionary Approach in a DSM context

Report
Outline
What is the precautionary
principle?
Precautionary principle in the
context of DSM
Obligation to apply the
precautionary approach
Precautionary principle in action
2
3
4
Precautionary Principle

Higher level of environmental protection
through precautionary decision-making in the
case of risk

Where there is a risk of serious or irreversible
damage to human health or the environment,
precautionary action should be taken
irrespective of the lack of absolute certainty
with regard to its causes and impact.

Proceed with caution
5
Current riskbased decisionmaking approach
Precautionary
approach
How safe is safe?
How much harm can be avoided
while still maintaining necessary
values?
What level of risk is acceptable?
What are the alternatives to this
that achieve the desired goal?
How much harm can the
ecosystem assimilate without any
obvious adverse effects?
Do we need this activity in the first
place?
6
Burden of proof
Safe until
proven
dangerous
Protect the
environment
7
Stakeholder consultations
Operator
CSO
Private
sector
Gov’t
Youth
Users
8
9
Factors which trigger the precautionary
approach are:
Potential for harm;
Uncertainty about causality
and magnitude of impacts.
APPLY PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH
10
Why the Precautionary
Principle?
 Effectively tackle deep
sea mineral issues while
at the same time ensuring
globally acceptable
standards are met
11
Precautionary Approach in DSM

High risk: When the risks are uncertain, adopting the
precautionary approach provides guidance on the
process for avoiding serious or irreversible harm

Precautionary approach MUST prevail

In the absence of complete scientific evidence,
adopting the precautionary approach allows
decision-makers to justify their decisions on the
available information
12
13
Direct obligations for
sponsoring States :
Conduct Environmental Impact
Assessments (EIA)
 Employ best environmental practices

Apply
the precautionary
principle
14
ISA Regulations
“…sponsoring States (as well as the
Authority) shall apply a precautionary
approach as reflected in Principle 15 of
the Rio Declaration in order to ensure
effective protection for the marine
environment from harmful effects which may
arise from activities in the Area”
Nodules Regulations, Reg 31, para 2
Sulphides Regulations, Reg 33, para 2
15
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
Principle 15:
“
In
order
to
protect
the
environment,
the
precautionary principle shall be widely applied by
States according to their capabilities, where there
are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack
of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a
reason for postponing cost-effective measures to
prevent environmental degradation.”
16
17
“… the general
provisions concerning
the responsibilities and
liability of the
sponsoring State apply
equally to all
sponsoring States,
whether developing or
developed.”
ITLOS Advisory Opinion
para 158
18
Reasonable measures

Given the scientific uncertainties and
unknowns, decisions to proceed with a
DSM project mining project should
consider all reasonable measures

These measures should reflect both the
levels of uncertainty and the probability
of harm
19
Public
consultations
Participatory
processes
INFORMED
DECISIONS
20
21
No development option
Application of the precautionary principle
may be a decision NOT to embark in
DSM activities if the risks, uncertainty, or
anticipated impacts are deemed too
serious.
 The Precautionary approach also
recognises there are situations where
development may proceed despite
insufficient information for fully-informed
risk assessment.

22
Scientific uncertainty does not necessarily
require inaction.
 Precautionary approach informs the method
of moving forward, ie preventing incidents of
environmental degradation and
implementing cost-effective measures
 As information becomes available through
cautious and incremental steps, the
uncertainties and risks can be reduced as
the project develops.
 “Learning by doing”

23
Applying Precautionary Approach
in DSM context
Continual approach:
 Robust regulatory approach
 Participatory approach
 Proportionate approach
 Incremental approach
 Environmental management approach
 Other relevant environmental measures

24
25
26
Continual Approach
Continuous monitoring and assessment
before, during and after DSM projects
have ceased
 Gather information to inform future
decision-making
 Long term action to build capacity over
time
 Capacity building initiatives are costeffective measures which States can
pursue

27
Robust regulatory approach






Good governance is essential to State application of
the precautionary approach
Robust legislative and licensing regime empowers
government to exercise appropriate decision making
processes
Enable public participation and a multi-stakeholder
approach
Protects the States, marine biodiversity, sea users
and local communities
Provides security and clarity to DSM
companies/investors
Furthered by establishment of a national body to
regulate DSM operations
28
Participatory approach





Uncertainty that invokes precautionary
approach gives rise to the need for
participatory approach
Builds awareness and understanding of
procedural and substantive DSM issues
Address concerns and protect stakeholder
interests
Mitigate any tension amongst stakeholders
with competing interests
Early public consultation aids development
of appropriate policy and law
29
Proportionate approach
The Rio Declaration is silent on the
extent of the precaution required, other
than noting that measures should be
cost-effective
 Invoking the precautionary approach
should lead to action that is
proportionate to the required level of
protection, consistent with other users

30
Incremental approach
DSM projects should take one step at a
time
 Controlled, staged work programs
 Development of staged programs as
new information and scientific evidence
emerges

31
Environmental management
approach
Prior EIA (environmental impact
assessment)
 On-going environmental monitoring
 Establishing a robust EMP
(environmental management plan)
 Impose clear requirements on DSM
operators for comprehensive baseline
research and regular data collection, to
enable effective observation and
analysis of the impacts of DSM activity

32
Other relevant environmental
management measures






Establish marine protected areas
Comprehensive baseline research
requirements in the explorative/mining license
The use around mining sites of un-mined
buffer zones and control zones
Strategic environmental assessment by
governments for their entire marine areas
Regular reporting of data on environmental
impacts
Paradigm shift from a single sector approach
to an ‘ecosystem approach’
33
34

similar documents