COP 5 Decision V/18
This decision has been retired.

Impact assessment, liability and redress

The Conference of the Parties,


1. Invites Parties, Governments and other relevant organizations:

(a) To implement paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in conjunction with other components of the Convention and to integrate environmental impact assessment into the work programmes on thematic areas, including the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems, marine and coastal biological diversity, forest biological diversity, agricultural biological diversity, and the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, and on alien species and tourism;

(b) To address loss of biological diversity and the interrelated socio-economic, cultural and human-health aspects relevant to biological diversity when carrying out environmental impact assessments;

(c) To consider biological diversity concerns from the early stages of the drafting process, when developing new legislative and regulatory frameworks;

(d) To ensure the involvement of interested and affected stakeholders in a participatory approach to all stages of the assessment process, including governmental bodies, the private sector, research and scientific institutions, indigenous and local communities and non-governmental organizations, including by using appropriate mechanisms, such as the establishment of committees, at the appropriate level;

(e) To organize expert meetings, workshops and seminars, as well as training, educational and public awareness programmes and exchange programmes, and carry out pilot environmental impact assessment projects, in order to promote the development of local expertise in methodologies, techniques and procedures;

2. Encourages Parties, Governments and relevant organizations:

(a) To use strategic environmental assessments to assess not only the impact of individual projects, but also their cumulative and global effects, incorporating biological diversity considerations at the decision-making and/or environmental planning level;

(b) To include the development of alternatives, mitigation measures and consideration of the elaboration of compensation measures in environmental impact assessment;

3. Requests Parties to include in their national reports information on practices, systems, mechanisms and experiences in the area of strategic environmental assessment and impact assessment;

4. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to further develop guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into legislation and/or processes on strategic environmental assessment impact assessment, in collaboration with the scientific community, the private sector, indigenous and local communities, non-governmental organizations and relevant organizations at the international, regional, subregional and national levels, such as the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Convention on Wetlands, the Scientific Council of the Convention on Migratory Species, DIVERSITAS, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, the International Association for Impact Assessment and the United Nations Environment Programme, as well as the Parties, and further elaborate the application of the precautionary approach and the ecosystem approach, taking into account needs for capacity-building, with a view to completion by the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

5. Also requests the Executive Secretary:

(a) To disseminate case-studies received; (b) To renew the call for further case-studies, including case-studies on negative impacts and, in particular, on impact assessments that take the ecosystem approach into account; (c) To compile and evaluate existing guidelines, procedures and provisions for environmental impact assessment; (d) To make this information available, together with information on existing guidelines on incorporating biological diversity considerations into environmental impact assessment, through, inter alia, the clearing-house mechanism in order to facilitate sharing of information and exchange of experiences at the regional, national and local levels;


6. Renews the invitation to Parties, Governments, and relevant international organizations, contained in its decision IV/10 C, paragraph 8, to provide the Executive Secretary with information on national, international and regional measures and agreements on liability and redress applicable to damage to biological diversity, acknowledging that some Parties, Governments and organizations have already provided the Executive Secretary with such information;

7. Requests the Executive Secretary to update the synthesis report submitted to the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/16) to include information contained in further submissions by Parties, Governments and relevant international organizations, taking into account other relevant information including, in particular, information on the work of the International Law Commission and on the development and application of liability regimes under other multilateral instruments, including the Antarctic Treaty, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, for the consideration of the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting;

8. Welcomes the offer of the Government of France to organize a workshop on liability and redress in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity;

9. Decides to consider at its sixth meeting a process for reviewing paragraph 2 of Article 14, including the establishment of an ad hoc technical expert group, taking into account consideration of these issues within the framework of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the outcome of the workshop referred to in paragraph 8 of the present decision