Publication Details

R. Warner, 'Oceans in Transition: Incorporating Climate-Change Impacts into Environmental Impact Assessment for Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction' (2018) 45 Ecology Law Quarterly 31-52.


The oceans and their biodiversity are coming under increasing threat from climate-change impacts including increasing water temperatures, deoxygenation, and ocean acidification. The adverse effects of climate change are exacerbating the stresses experienced by species, habitats, and ecosystems in all marine areas and diminishing the ecological services they provide. Identifying the nature and extent of climate-change impacts on marine biodiversity through environmental impact assessment and associated mitigation measures is a critical step towards lessening adverse impacts and stemming biodiversity loss. While legal and institutional frameworks for environmental impact assessment are well established for marine areas under national jurisdiction, collaborative structures and mechanisms for environmental impact assessment in areas beyond national jurisdiction are still fragmentary and underdeveloped. This Article reviews the existing international law and policy framework for environmental impact assessment in areas beyond national jurisdiction and discusses options for incorporating consideration of climatechange impacts into environmental impact assessment processes through a new international legally binding instrument for conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction being developed through the United Nations General Assembly.



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