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Antarctica: a Case for Common Implementation of Environmental Standards

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Chapter Summary

Environmental impact assessments were first established in the domestic law of the United States under the 1972 U.S. Environmental Protection Act. The legislative activities concerning the establishment of an environmental impact assessment procedure reached their peak in 1991 with the adoption of the Espoo Convention and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty with its Annex I on Environmental Impact Assessment. Not all Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties have enacted legislation to implement the Protocol and its Annexes. Some of them for example China, seem to implement the Protocol and its Annexes directly through acts of the administration. In the period before the entry into force of the Protocol on Environmental Protection, the Antarctic Treaty regime only provided for a coordination of activities, the establishment of protected areas and the development of some standards and the procedures to be followed. The Protocol changed this situation significantly.

Keywords: Antartica Treaty; environmental impact assessment system; environmental standards; Protocol on Environmental Protection



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