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Environmental Impact Assessments for deep-sea mining: Can we improve their future effectiveness?

Environmental Impact Assessments for deep-sea mining: Can we improve their future effectiveness?
Environmental Impact Assessments for deep-sea mining: Can we improve their future effectiveness?

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important process for evaluating the effects of development, and to assist decisions to effectively manage potential deep-sea mining (DSM). However, although EIA is a widely used and accepted approach, there has been considerable debate over its effectiveness. In this paper, we summarise some of the key problems raised by previous EIA reviews, as well as examining several EIAs carried out in recent years for DSM, and highlight issues identified by management agencies. Scientific shortcomings are discussed, and recommendations provided on ways to improve performance. These include inadequate baseline data, insufficient detail of the mining operation, insufficient synthesis of data and the ecosystem approach, poor assessment and consideration of uncertainty, inadequate assessment of indirect impacts, inadequate treatment of cumulative impacts, insufficient risk assessment, and consideration of linkages between EIA and other management plans. The focus of the paper is on scientific limitations, but we also consider some aspects of their application to elements of process and policy.

Deep sea, Environmental impact assessment, Environmental management, Impacts, Seabed mining
0308-597X
Clark, Malcolm R.
cd47dc3e-9154-4ef9-a32f-d0e798c4e259
Durden, Jennifer M.
d7101246-b76b-44bc-8956-8ca4ae62ae1f
Christiansen, Sabine
4cbbfb65-0315-475d-923f-6b66751e3992
Clark, Malcolm R.
cd47dc3e-9154-4ef9-a32f-d0e798c4e259
Durden, Jennifer M.
d7101246-b76b-44bc-8956-8ca4ae62ae1f
Christiansen, Sabine
4cbbfb65-0315-475d-923f-6b66751e3992

Clark, Malcolm R., Durden, Jennifer M. and Christiansen, Sabine (2019) Environmental Impact Assessments for deep-sea mining: Can we improve their future effectiveness? Marine Policy. (doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2018.11.026).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important process for evaluating the effects of development, and to assist decisions to effectively manage potential deep-sea mining (DSM). However, although EIA is a widely used and accepted approach, there has been considerable debate over its effectiveness. In this paper, we summarise some of the key problems raised by previous EIA reviews, as well as examining several EIAs carried out in recent years for DSM, and highlight issues identified by management agencies. Scientific shortcomings are discussed, and recommendations provided on ways to improve performance. These include inadequate baseline data, insufficient detail of the mining operation, insufficient synthesis of data and the ecosystem approach, poor assessment and consideration of uncertainty, inadequate assessment of indirect impacts, inadequate treatment of cumulative impacts, insufficient risk assessment, and consideration of linkages between EIA and other management plans. The focus of the paper is on scientific limitations, but we also consider some aspects of their application to elements of process and policy.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 November 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 January 2019
Keywords: Deep sea, Environmental impact assessment, Environmental management, Impacts, Seabed mining

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430146
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430146
ISSN: 0308-597X
PURE UUID: 327a29c6-3aef-4ced-a868-973625474973

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 04:04

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Contributors

Author: Malcolm R. Clark
Author: Jennifer M. Durden
Author: Sabine Christiansen

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