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6. International environment legislation

6.1 General
6.2 Assessment
6.3 Register of environment treaties
6.4 International, multilateral environment treaties
6.5 EC environment legislation

6.1 General

Provisions to be met to a greater or lesser mandatory extent when performing an EIA can be derived from international environment legislation. These include usage restrictions (relating to certain areas or activities etc.), the delimitation of protected areas or the naming of individual sectors to be protected.

In view of the fact that certain laws also make reference to qualitative or quantitative "environmental standards", the laws, agreements, directives, protocols etc. covered by the term "environment treaties" were evaluated for the CES.

BURHENNE (1988 and 1989) initially gives a very broad interpretation of the terms "international environment legislation" and "environment treaties". The CES was interested in only those environment treaties which make reference to sectors with EIA relevance in the broader sense (see above). These treaties are listed in the "register of environment treaties" (in the table or in information sheets).

The direct informational value of the register with respect to EIA is to be found above all in the environment policy/environment planning link with objects to be protected and legal provisions covering pollutants (emission/immission data) as well as ecologically significant usage (trading in certain products, transportation of specific goods, handling of particular substances/goods, limitation of land use or use of natural resources, harmonisation of environment standards etc.). This is particularly true of the chosen EC legislation.

Furthermore, the value lies in the argumentation aids provided for the implementation of environmental standards/environmental factors "to be considered". For this reason, and on account of the international nature of the project, there is also evaluation of multilateral treaties even if these tend to be of a programmatic, less binding nature.

Appropriate treatment of the multi-faceted topic spanning various judicial sectors presupposes evaluation of the most comprehensive possible overall scenarios guaranteeing continuity in the provision of information on environment treaties.

The research into various data sources (data banks and literature) resulted in the multi-volume loose-leaf binders "International environment legislation, multilateral treaties" (referred to as IURMV) and "EC environment legislation" (referred to as UREG or ECEL). These sources guarantee the continuous recording of treaties in the most comprehensive possible manner and could thus be used with appropriate outlay for expansion of the CES.

It was therefore possible to avoid the highly time-consuming evaluation of primary sources and documentation.

Particular examples of the above are as follows: UN Treaty Series, the German Bundesgesetzblatt (Federal Law Gazette), United Kingdom Treaty Series, US Government Treaty Series, documentation from IUCN environment legislation centre, the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Apart from a few exceptions, the texts of the IURMV and UREG laws are printed in several languages thus permitting in-depth consideration where necessary. The IURMV also contains a list arranged according to countries which makes it possible for example to establish which countries recognise which laws.

The differing objectives of IURMV and UREG lend themselves to separate treatment in this catalogue section as do the different recording methods employed.

6.2 Assessment

Assessment of " International environment legislation, multilateral treaties"

The IURMV contains the titles of some 400 environment-related, multilateral treaties (conventions, protocols, agreements, amendments etc.) recorded between 1968 and 1994. The texts of the treaties are usually given as well. The UN Environment Conference in Stockholm (1972), provided the impetus for more in-depth international environment protection agreements or programmes. For this reason, it was deemed appropriate to initially restrict the evaluation to treaties as of 1971. For the purposes of the CES this therefore involved the assessment of more than 150 international, multilateral environment treaties/agreements as well as amendments/protocols (see register of environment treaties: list of international, multilateral treaties).

11 treaties were incorporated into the register which address environment standards or feature an information content which justified the special inclusion of an information sheet.

The stated list of international, multilateral environment treaties (refer to register of environment treaties) gives an overview of the evaluated international, multilateral treaties covered by the data source IURMV (1989). The key phrases give an indication of the subject matter of the treaty and its EIA relevance. There is also an outline of whether or not the register section of the CES contains an information sheet with more details of the treaty.

An important aspect of the information sheet is that it quotes not only the immediate subject matter of the treaty, but also the objects concerned and the aims involved. In doing so, emphasis was placed on strictest possible interpretation capable of being expressed in concrete terms in relation to EIA aspects; i.e. the information on the immediate subject matter refers exclusively to the aspect of the law directly addressed in the treaty and the objects covered by the provisions. There is no description of parts of treaties which have no EIA relevance or which are of no possible benefit to environmental planning.

"Pertinent information" in respect of "environment standards" or in-depth evaluation has been incorporated where appropriate.

Assessment of "EC environment legislation"

The UREG (1988) contains the titles of some 400 environment-related instruments (directives, decisions, regulations, resolutions and orders as well as their amendment/assimilation directives) of the Council or Commission of the European Communities up to and including 1987. Up-dating EC environment legislation relied on the seven volume publication "European Community Environment Legislation", edited by the Commission of the EC, as well as on the loose-leaf publication "EG-Umweltrecht", compiled and edited by Storm/Lohse, 6th instalment 1995.

66 instruments are to be viewed as being EIA-relevant regulations/agreements including their amendment/assimilation directives.

Instruments are classed as having EIA relevance if their regulations are referenced directly to polluters, environment media or objects to be protected. This likewise applies to instruments of a more programmatic nature.

As was the case with the multilateral treaties, the information sheets for the EC environment treaties outline the objects governed by the provisions and the aims involved as well as the immediate subject matter of the treaty in strictly defined terms to be of use for environmental impact assessments. "Pertinent information" was included where appropriate to EIA applications or in-depth evaluation.

6.3 Register of environment treaties

The register is subdivided into:

1. International, multilateral environment treaties (list and information sheets)
2. EC environment legislation (register and information sheets)

The information sheets are arranged chronologically according to the date of adoption or date of publication/designation (IURMV or EC) of the initial treaty, i.e. subsequent amendment/supplementary protocols or amendment/assimilation directives are generally incorporated into the description of the initial treaty.

Reference is made to the stated data sources for researching the original treaty texts. The important information in conjunction with environment standards is taken where applicable as "pertinent information" in some cases directly from the treaty texts. Details on the significant EC Directive on EIA is also given in the information sheets.

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