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Recommendation ATCM XIV-2 (Rio de Janeiro, 1987)

SubjectEnvironmental impact evaluation
Did not enter into effect. No longer current: D1 (2011) + View Approval Details
Category Environmental impact assessment
Topics - CEE (Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation)
- Guidelines
- IEE (Initial Environmental Evaluation)

The Representatives,


(i) Article II of the Antarctic Treaty, Recommendations IV-4, VIII-11, VIII-13, IX-5 and XII-3;
(ii) the work of SCAR with respect to the elaboration of procedures for evaluating impacts from scientific and logistic activities;
(iii) the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) "Goals and Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment" adopted by the UNEP Governing Council at its Fourteenth Session (June 1987);

Reaffirming that, before decisions are taken by their respective national organizations responsible for Antarctic activities to undertake scientific research or associated logistic activities that are likely significantly to affect the Antarctic environment, the environmental effects of such activities should be identified so that such effects may be carefully weighed against the advantages that are expected to be derived from the activity in question;


(i) to promote the implementation by Consultative Parties of appropriate procedures consistent with national laws and decision-making processes, through which the foregoing goal may be realized;
(ii) to encourage the development of reciprocal procedures for information exchange and comment between Parties when proposed activities are likely to have significant effects on the Antarctic environment;
(iii) to introduce a measure of comparability between environmental impact assessment procedures for use with respect to the scientific research and associated logistic activities of Consultative Parties;
(iv) to ensure that in the implementation of such procedures due account is taken of, inter alia, the cumulative impact such activities may have in the Antarctic environment and of their possible impact on other uses of Antarctica and on dependent and related ecosystems;

Recommend to their Governments that:

1. In the planning process leading to decisions about scientific research programmes and their associated logistic support facilities, their respective national Antarctic organizations responsible for Antarctic activities evaluate the environmental impact of such activities in accordance with the procedural guidelines set out below:


(i) The proposed activity should be defined and described; such description to include information on the needs to be met by the proposed activity and features of the activity that might cause impacts on the environment;
(ii) A first evaluation, termed an "Initial Environmental Evaluation", should be performed to determine whether the activity might reasonably be expected to have a significant impact;
(iii) If this Initial Environmental Evaluation indicates that the proposed activity is likely to have no more than a minor or transitory effect on the environment, the activity may proceed, with the proviso that appropriate monitoring of the actual impact should take place;
(iv) Otherwise, a "Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation" should be prepared;
(v) Such a Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation should include:

(a) descriptions of the proposed activity and feasible alternatives, including the alternative of not proceeding, and their respective consequences on Antarctic research;
(b) a description of the initial environmental reference state with which predicted changes are to be compared and a prediction of the future environmental state in the absence of the proposed activity;
(c) estimation of the nature, extent, duration and intensity of the likely direct environmental effects resulting from the proposed activity;
(d) consideration of possible indirect or second order effects;
(e) consideration of cumulative impacts of the proposed activity in the light of existing activities and other known planned activities;
(f) identification of measures, including monitoring programmes, that could be taken to minimize or mitigate impacts and detect possible unforeseen effects;
(g) identification of unavoidable impacts;
(h) evaluation of the significance of the predicted environmental effects in relation to the advantages of the proposed activity;

(vi) On the basis of the Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation, a decision would be made by the appropriate national authority whether the activity should proceed and, if so, in its original or in a modified form;
(vii) Key indicators of the environmental effects of the activity should be monitored and, where possible, environmental impacts should, as in all Antarctic activities, be minimized or mitigated.

2. In the process of preparing a Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation, Parties concerned shall be informed, and be given the opportunity to comment, either directly or through their national contact points.

3. Final Comprehensive Environmental Evaluations shall be transmitted as part of the annual exchange of information provided for under the Antarctic Treaty.
Relevant Final Report paragraph7
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