Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context
For the purposes of this Convention,
(i) “Parties”means, unless the text otherwise indicates, the
Contracting Parties to this Convention;
(ii) “Party of origin”means the Contracting Party or Parties to this
Convention under whose jurisdiction a proposed activity is envisaged to
(iii) “Affected Party” means the Contracting Party or Parties to this
Convention likely to be affected by the transboundary impact of a proposed
(iv) “Concerned Parties”means the Party of origin and the affected
Party of an environmental impact assessment pursuant to this Convention;
(v) “Proposed activity” means any activity or any major change to an
activity subject to a decision of a competent authority in accordance with
an applicable national procedure;
(vi) “Environmental impact assessment”means a national procedure for
evaluating the likely impact of a proposed activity on the environment;
(vii) “Impact”means any effect caused by a proposed activity on the
environment including human health and safety, flora, fauna, soil, air,
water, climate, landscape and historical monuments or other physical
structures or the interaction among these factors; it also includes effects
on cultural heritage or socio-economic conditions resulting from
alterations to those factors;
(viii) “Transboundary impact”means any impact, not exclusively of a
global nature, within an area under the jurisdiction of a Party caused by a
proposed activity the physical origin of which is situated wholly or in
part within the area under the jurisdiction of another Party;
(ix) “Competent authority” means the national authority or
authorities designated by a Party as responsible for performing the tasks
covered by this Convention and/or the authority or authorities entrusted by
a Party with decision-making powers regarding a proposed activity;
(x) “The Public”means one or more natural or legal persons.
1. The Parties shall, either individually or jointly, take all appropriate
and effective measures to prevent, reduce and control significant adverse
transboundary environmental impact from proposed activities.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legal, administrative or other
measures to implement the provisions of this Convention, including, with
respect to proposed activities listed in Appendix I that are likely to
cause significant adverse transboundary impact, the establishment of an
environmental impact assessment procedure that permits public participation
and preparation of the environmental impact assessment documentation
described in Appendix II.
3. The Party of origin shall ensure that in accordance with the provisions
of this Convention an environmental impact assessment is undertaken prior
to a decision to authorize or undertake a proposed activity listed in
Appendix I that is likely to cause a significant adverse transboundary
4. The Party of origin shall, consistent with the provisions of this
Convention, ensure that affected Parties are notified of a proposed
activity listed in Appendix I that is likely to cause a significant adverse
5. Concerned Parties shall, at the initiative of any such Party, enter into
discussions on whether one or more proposed activities not listed in
Appendix I is or are likely to cause a significant adverse transboundary
impact and thus should be treated as if it or they were so listed. Where
those Parties so agree, the activity or activities shall be thus treated.
General guidance for identifying criteria to determine significant adverse
impact is set forth in Appendix III.
6. The Party of origin shall provide, in accordance with the provisions of
this Convention, an opportunity to the public in the areas likely to be
affected to participate in relevant environmental impact assessment
procedures regarding proposed activities and shall ensure that the
opportunity provided to the public of the affected Party is equivalent to
that provided to the public of the Party of origin.
7. Environmental impact assessments as required by this Convention shall,
as a minimum requirement, be undertaken at the project level of the
proposed activity. To the extent appropriate, the Parties shall endeavour
to apply the principles of environmental impact assessment to policies,
plans and programmes.
8. The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the right of Parties
to implement national laws, regulations, administrative provisions or
accepted legal practices protecting information the supply of which would
be prejudicial to industrial and commercial secrecy or national security.
9. The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the right of
particular Parties to implement, by bilateral or multilateral agreement
where appropriate, more stringent measures than those of this Convention.
10. The provisions of this Convention shall not prejudice any obligations
of the Parties under international law with regard to activities having or
likely to have a transboundary impact.
1. For a proposed activity listed in Appendix I that is likely to cause a
significant adverse transboundary impact, the Party of origin shall, for
the purposes of ensuring adequate and effective consultations under Article
5, notify any Party which it considers may be an affected Party as early as
possible and no later than when informing its own public about that
2. This notification shall contain, inter alia:
(a) Information on the proposed activity, including any available
information on its possible transboundary impact;
(b) The nature of the possible decision; and
(c) An indication of a reasonable time within which a response under
paragraph 3 of this Article is required, taking into account the nature of
the proposed activity;
and may include the information set out in paragraph 5 of this Article.
3. The affected Party shall respond to the Party of origin within the time
specified in the notification, acknowledging receipt of the notification,
and shall indicate whether it intends to participate in the environmental
impact assessment procedure.
4. If the affected Party indicates that it does not intend to participate
in the environmental impact assessment procedure, or if it does not respond
within the time specified in the notification, the provisions in paragraphs
5, 6, 7 and 8 of this Article and in Articles 4 to 7 will not apply. In
such circumstances the right of a Party of origin to determine whether to
carry out an environmental impact assessment on the basis of its national
law and practice is not prejudiced.
5. Upon receipt of a response from the affected Party indicating its desire
to participate in the environmental impact assessment procedure, the Party
of origin shall, if it has not already done so, provide to the affected
(a) Relevant information regarding the environmental impact
assessment procedure, including an indication of the time schedule for
transmittal of comments; and
(b) Relevant information on the proposed activity and its possible
significant adverse transboundary impact.
6. An affected Party shall, at the request of the Party of origin, provide
the latter with reasonably obtainable information relating to the
potentially affected environment under the jurisdiction of the affected
Party, where such information is necessary for the preparation of the
environmental impact assessment documentation. The information shall be
furnished promptly and, as appropriate, through a joint body where one
7. When a Party considers that it would be affected by a significant
adverse transboundary impact of a proposed activity listed in Appendix I,
and when no notification has taken place in accordance with paragraph 1 of
this Article, the concerned Parties shall, at the request of the affected
Party, exchange sufficient information for the purposes of holding
discussions on whether there is likely to be a significant adverse
transboundary impact. If those Parties agree that there is likely to be a
significant adverse transboundary impact, the provisions of this Convention
shall apply accordingly. If those Parties cannot agree whether there is
likely to be a significant adverse transboundary impact, any such Party may
submit that question to an inquiry commission in accordance with the
provisions of Appendix IV to advise on the likelihood of significant
adverse transboundary impact, unless they agree on another method of
settling this question.
8. The concerned Parties shall ensure that the public of the affected Party
in the areas likely to be affected be informed of, and be provided with
possibilities for making comments or objections on, the proposed activity,
and for the transmittal of these comments or objections to the competent
authority of the Party of origin, either directly to this authority or,
where appropriate, through the Party of origin.
References and Further Reading
About the Author/s and Reviewer/s
Mentioned in these Entries
Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context 2, Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context 3, International Conventions from 1991, Other Environmental conventions.