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02 May 2008

Working Group Considers Environmental Impacts of Anthropogenic Activities on Marine Biological Diversity


2 May 2008: Participants to the Second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction have addressed the issue of environmental impacts of anthropogenic activities. A number of developing countries at the 28 April-2 May 2008 meeting in New York, US, organized by the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, expressed concern with ocean-based climate change mitigation activities, highlighting uncertainties regarding their impacts.

Norway, Australia, Marshall Islands and Mexico argued that these activities should be subject to the carrying out of an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Above - L-R: Co-Chair Ambassador Robert Hill (Australia) and Co-Chair Juan Manuel Gómez-Robledo (Mexico).

The US, supported by Iceland, expressed concern over the application of EIAs internationally, and supported implementation of existing agreements and enhanced coordination.

Canada urged updating existing instruments to contend with new challenges and, supported by Iceland, highlighted the need to link ocean issues to the climate change agenda. The outcome of the meeting – a Co-Chairs’ Draft Joint Statement to be submitted to the 63rd session of the General Assembly – contains issues that the General Assembly may wish to consider referring back to the Working Group, including the development of effective EIA tools for oceans management.

Source: IISDRS Coverage



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