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(Research): Introduction: Building Common Interests with Informed Decisionmaking for Sustainability

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Part of the Informed Decisionmaking for Sustainability book series (IDS)

Abstract

This chapter introduces conceptual threads woven within and between the chapters, applying the book title as the organizing framework and the Arctic as a case study with global relevance. The book focuses on science diplomacy and its engine of informed decisionmaking together with the theory, methods and skills introduced in view of Building Common Interests. As an exemplar, the Arctic Ocean highlights holistic (international, interdisciplinary and inclusive) integration with marine and surrounding terrestrial systems interacting with humanity at local-global levels, especially in relation to Earth’s changing climate. The importance of this book is With Global Inclusion, recognizing challenges to engage diverse stakeholders, rightsholders and other actors, as illustrated with special respect for the Indigenous peoples who have inhabited the Arctic for millennia with resilience across ice ages and past periods of global warming. The goal of this book on Building Common Interests in the Arctic Ocean with Global Inclusion (involving contributions from graduate students to foreign ministers at the Arctic Frontiers 2020 conference) is to help produce informed decisions that operate short-to-long term at local-global levels for the benefit of all on Earth across generations.

Keywords

  • Change
  • Governance
  • Holistic
  • Infrastructure
  • Pan-Arctic
  • Precaution
  • Science
  • Systems
  • Urgencies

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Fig. 1.1
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Fig. 1.6
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Fig. 1.8
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Notes

  1. 1.

    Highlighted terms in Chapter 1 involve definitions to avoid jargon with concepts that are threaded through this book series.

  2. 2.

    1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna, 23 May 1969, in force 27 January 1980), Article 31, para. 3, lit. c. 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, opened for signature 10 December 1982, (entered into forced 16 November 1994) Article 311, para. 2.

  3. 3.

    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (opened for signature 10 December 1982, entered into force 16 November 1994) 1833 UNTS 3 (LOSC).

  4. 4.

    1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, opened for signature 10 December 1982, (entered into forced 16 November 1994) Article 311, para.3.

  5. 5.

    1969 International Convention relating to intervention on the high seas in cases of oil pollution casualties, opened for signature 29 November 1969, (entered into forced 06 May 1975) UNTS 970 (p.211).

  6. 6.

    Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 03 March 1973,, (entered into force 01 July 1975), 993 U.N.T.S. 243 (CITES).

  7. 7.

    1980 Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, opened for signature 20 May 1980, (entered into forced 7 April 1982) 1329 UNTS.

  8. 8.

    UN General Assembly, World Charter for Nature., 28 October 1982, A/RES/37/7, available at: https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/39295?ln=es[accessed 06 September 2020]

  9. 9.

    1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, opened for signature 22 march 1985, (entered into forced 22 September 1988) UNTS 1513, (p.293).

  10. 10.

    Second International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea, London, 27 November 1987.

  11. 11.

    Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, opened for signature 16 September 1987, (entered into forced 01 January 1989) UNTS 26369.

  12. 12.

    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, opened for signature 09 May 1992, (entered into forced 21 March 1994) UNTS 1771 (p.107).

  13. 13.

    Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, adopted on 17 March 1992, (entered into forced 06 October 1996).

  14. 14.

    Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 14 June 1992, UN Doc. A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 Report of the UNCED Vol.1 (New York).

  15. 15.

    Treaty on European Union, adopted on 07 February 1992, (entered into forced 01 November 1993) UNTS 298, (p.11).

  16. 16.

    Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, adopted on 17 March 1992, (entered into forced 19 April 2000) UNTS 2105, (p. 457), with Amendments as Adopted in 2015.

  17. 17.

    Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, opened for signature 17 March 1992, (entered into force 17 January 2000) 1507 UNTS.

  18. 18.

    Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (opened for signature 22 September 1992, entered into force 25 March 1998) 2354 UNTS.

  19. 19.

    Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions, Oslo, 14 June 1994, in force 05 August 1998, UNTS 2030, (p. 122).

  20. 20.

    Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UN Fish Stocks Agreement), 2167 UNTS 3.

  21. 21.

    1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention), London, 7 November 1996, in force 24 March 2006, 2006 ATS 11 (London Protocol).

  22. 22.

    Convention on the Protection of the Rhine, adopted on 12 April 1999, (entered into forced 01 January 2003).

  23. 23.

    Protocol to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety), Cartagena de Indias, adopted on 29 January 2000, (entered into force on 11 September 2003) UNTS 2226, (p.208).

  24. 24.

    Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, adopted on 22 May 2001, (entered into force on 17 May 2004) UNTS 2256, (p.119).

  25. 25.

    Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, adopted on 04 November 2003, (entered into force on 12 August 2006).

  26. 26.

    International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), adopted on 94th Session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in November 2014, entered into force 01 January 2017.

  27. 27.

    ‘Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean’, 12.6.2018, COM (2018) 454 final, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52018PC0453&from=EN; last accessed 05 May 2020.

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Acknowledgements

This chapter and those that follow emerged with Arctic Frontiers 2020, building on the 2018 Memorandum of Understanding with the Science Diplomacy Center on behalf of the editors for the book series on Informed Decisionmaking for Sustainability. This chapter is a product of the Science Diplomacy Center through EvREsearch LTD, coordinating Arctic Options/Pan-Arctic Options and related projects with support from the United States National Science Foundation (Award Nos. NSF-OPP 1263819, NSF-ICER 1660449, NSF-OPP 1719540 and NSF-ICER 2103490) along with the Fulbright Arctic Chair 2021-2022 awarded to P.A. Berkman by the United States Department of State and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with funding from the United States Congress. These international projects include support also from national science agencies in Canada, China, France, Norway, Russia and United States from 2013 to 2022 in coordination with the Belmont Forum, gratefully acknowledging the collaboration with the University of California Santa Barbara, MGIMO University, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Norwegian Polar Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Colorado Boulder, Carleton University, Ocean University of China and University of the Arctic among other institutions throughout this period. We also thank the Polar Institute with the Wilson Center for their leadership and support of this contribution. Knowledge-discovery application of KnoHow™ (http://knohow.co) was supported by the National Science Foundation project on “Automated Discovery of Content-in-Context Relationships from a Large Corpus of Arctic Social Science Data” (Award No. NSF-OPP 1719540).

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Correspondence to Paul Arthur Berkman .

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Appendix

Appendix

1.1 The Precautionary Principle or Approach

  • Possible Citation: Soto Sanchez, R. 2022. Appendix to Chapter 1. Building Common Interests with Informed Decisionmaking for Sustainability. IN: Berkman, P.A., Young, O.R., Vylegzhanin, A.N., Balton, D.A. and Øvretveit, O. (eds). Building Common Interests in the Arctic Ocean with Global Inclusion. Volume 2. Informed Decisionmaking for Sustainability. Springer, Dordrecht.

Appendix: Table 1 The precautionary principle or approach in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC)

The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) provides the widely agreed basic international law framework for balancing the rights and duties of coastal States, including protecting and preserving the marine environment in the different maritime zones, with the rights and duties of all States, including to freedom of navigation. The LOSC applies to the Arctic Ocean as it applies to other parts of the seas and oceans. Although the LOSC does not expressly refer to the precautionary principle or precautionary approach, a number of its provisions, highlighted in this table nevertheless give effect to the basic concept of precaution. The LOSC is not comprehensive in the sense of providing detailed rules for the regulation of all marine operations and shipping at sea, especially in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Other international instruments, included in Appendix: Table 2, build on or supplement the provisions of the LOSC relating to precaution an evolving concept that must be interpreted in accordance with the full complement of relevant international instruments.Footnote

1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna, 23 May 1969, in force 27 January 1980), Article 31, para. 3, lit. c. 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, opened for signature 10 December 1982, (entered into forced 16 November 1994) Article 311, para. 2.

Year adopted Instrument Type Provision(s) Textual quotation
1982 LOSC.Footnote

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (opened for signature 10 December 1982, entered into force 16 November 1994) 1833 UNTS 3 (LOSC).

Multilateral, International. Articles 194 para(s). 1 to 3; and 195. Article 194
Measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment
“1. States shall take, individually or jointly as appropriate, all measures consistent with this Convention that are necessary to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from any source, using for this purpose the best practicable means at their disposal and in accordance with their capabilities, and they shall endeavour to harmonize their policies in this connection.
2. States shall take all measures necessary to ensure that activities under their jurisdiction or control are so conducted as not to cause damage by pollution to other States and their environment, and that pollution arising from incidents or activities under their jurisdiction or control does not spread beyond the areas where they exercise sovereign rights in accordance with this Convention.
3. The measures taken pursuant to this Part shall deal with all sources of pollution of the marine environment. (…)”
Article 195
Duty not to transfer damage or hazards or transform one type of pollution into another
“In taking measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment, States shall act so as not to transfer, directly or indirectly, damage or hazards from one area to another or transform one type of pollution into another.”
    Articles 207 to 212. Article 207
Pollution from land-based sources
“1. States shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources, including rivers, estuaries, pipelines and outfall structures, taking into account internationally agreed rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures.
2. States shall take other measures as may be necessary to prevent, reduce and control such pollution.
3. States shall endeavour to harmonize their policies in this connection at the appropriate regional level.
4. States, (…), shall endeavour to establish global and regional rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources, (…). Such rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures shall be re-examined from time to time as necessary.
5. Laws, regulations, measures, rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures referred to in paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 shall include those designed to minimize, to the fullest extent possible, the release of toxic, harmful or noxious substances, especially those which are persistent, into the marine environment.”
Article 208
Pollution from seabed activities subject to national jurisdiction
“1. Coastal States shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment arising from or in connection with seabed activities subject to their jurisdiction and from artificial islands, installations and structures under their jurisdiction, (…).
2. States shall take other measures as may be necessary to prevent, reduce and control such pollution.
3. Such laws, regulations and measures shall be no less effective than international rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures.
5. (…) Such rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures shall be re-examined from time to time as necessary.”
Article 209
Pollution from activities in the Area
“1. International rules, regulations and procedures shall be established in accordance with Part XI to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from activities in the Area. Such rules, regulations and procedures shall be re-examined from time to time as necessary.
2. Subject to the relevant provisions of this section, States shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from activities in the Area undertaken by vessels, installations, structures and other devices flying their flag or of their registry or operating under their authority, as the case may be. The requirements of such laws and regulations shall be no less effective than the international rules, (…).”
Article 210
Pollution by dumping
“1. States shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment by dumping.
2. States shall take other measures as may be necessary to prevent, reduce and control such pollution.
3. Such laws, regulations and measures shall ensure that dumping is not carried out without the permission of the competent authorities of States.
4. (…) Such rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures shall be re-examined from time to time as necessary.
5. Dumping within the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone or onto the continental shelf shall not be carried out (…) after due consideration of the matter with other States which by reason of their geographical situation may be adversely affected thereby.
6. National laws, regulations and measures shall be no less effective in preventing, reducing and controlling such pollution than the global rules and standards.”
Article 211
Pollution from vessels
“1. States, (…), shall establish international rules and standards to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from vessels (…). Such rules and standards shall, in the same manner, be re-examined from time to time as necessary.
2. States shall adopt laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of pollution of the marine environment from vessels flying their flag or of their registry. Such laws and regulations shall at least have the same effect as that of generally accepted international rules and standards established through the competent international organization or general diplomatic conference. (…)”
Article 212
Pollution from or through the atmosphere
“1. States shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from or through the atmosphere, applicable to the air space under their sovereignty and to vessels flying their flag or vessels or aircraft of their registry, taking into account internationally agreed rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures and the safety of air navigation.
2. States shall take other measures as may be necessary to prevent, reduce and control such pollution.
(…)”
    Article 234. Article 234
Ice-covered areas
“Coastal States have the right to adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution from vessels in ice-covered areas within the limits of the exclusive economic zone, where particularly severe climatic conditions and the presence of ice covering such areas for most of the year create obstructions or exceptional hazards to navigation, and pollution of the marine environment could cause major harm to or irreversible disturbance of the ecological balance. Such laws and regulations shall have due regard to navigation and the protection and preservation of the marine environment based on the best available scientific evidence.”

Table 2 Existing instruments that embody the precautionary principle or approach

This table sets forth key provisions from international instruments that relate to the precautionary principle or precautionary approach, and that build on or supplement the provisions of the LOSC contained in Table 1.Footnote

1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, opened for signature 10 December 1982, (entered into forced 16 November 1994) Article 311, para.3.

Year adopted Instrument Type Provision(s) Textual quotation
1969 OPRC Convention.Footnote

1969 International Convention relating to intervention on the high seas in cases of oil pollution casualties, opened for signature 29 November 1969, (entered into forced 06 May 1975) UNTS 970 (p.211).

Multilateral, International. Article V. Article V.
“1. Measures taken by the coastal State in accordance with Article I shall be proportionate to the damage actual or threatened to it.
2. Such measures shall not go beyond what is reasonably necessary to achieve the end mentioned in Article I and shall cease as soon as that end has been achieved; they shall not unnecessarily interfere with the rights and interests of the flag State, third States and of any persons, physical or corporate, concerned.
3. In considering whether the measures are proportionate to the damage, account shall be taken of:
(a) the extent and probability of imminent damage if those measures are not taken; and
(b) the likelihood of those measures being effective; and
(c) the extent of the damage which may be caused by such measures.”
1973 CITES.Footnote

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 03 March 1973,, (entered into force 01 July 1975), 993 U.N.T.S. 243 (CITES).

Multilateral, International. Articles VIII, XIII and XIV. Article VIII
Measures to be Taken by the Parties
“1. The Parties shall take appropriate measures to enforce the provisions of the present Convention and to prohibit trade in specimens in violation thereof. (…)”
Article XIII
International Measures
“1. When the Secretariat in the light of information received is satisfied that any species included in Appendix I or II is being affected adversely by trade in specimens of that species or that the provisions of the present Convention are not being effectively implemented, it shall communicate such information to the authorized Management Authority of the Party or Parties concerned.
2. When any Party receives a communication as indicated in paragraph 1 of this Article, it shall, as soon as possible, inform the Secretariat of any relevant facts insofar as its laws permit and, where appropriate, propose remedial action. Where the Party considers that an inquiry is desirable, such inquiry may be carried out by one or more persons expressly authorized by the Party.
(…)”
Article XIV
Effect on Domestic Legislation and International Conventions
“1. The provisions of the present Convention shall in no way affect the right of Parties to adopt:
(a) stricter domestic measures regarding the conditions for trade, taking, possession or transport of specimens of species included in Appendices I, II and III, or the complete prohibition thereof; or
(b) domestic measures restricting or prohibiting trade, taking, possession or transport of species not included in Appendix I, II or III.
(…)
6. Nothing in the present Convention shall prejudice the codification and development of the law of the sea by the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea convened pursuant to Resolution 2750 C (XXV) of the General Assembly of the United Nations nor the present or future claims and legal views of any State concerning the law of the sea and the nature and extent of coastal and flag State jurisdiction.”
1980 CAMLR Convention.Footnote

1980 Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, opened for signature 20 May 1980, (entered into forced 7 April 1982) 1329 UNTS.

Multilateral, Regional. Article II, para. 3, item c). Article II.
“1. The objective of this Convention is the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources.
(…)
3. Any harvesting and associated activities in the area to which this Convention applies shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and with the following principles of conservation:
(…)
(c)revention of changes or minimisation of the risk of changes in the marine ecosystem which are not potentially reversible over two or three decades, taking into account the state of available knowledge of the direct and indirect impact of harvesting, the effect of the introduction of alien species, the effects of associated activities on the marine ecosystem and of the effects of environmental changes, with the aim of making possible the sustained conservation of Antarctic marine living resources.”
1982 World Charter for Nature.Footnote

UN General Assembly, World Charter for Nature., 28 October 1982, A/RES/37/7, available at: https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/39295?ln=es[accessed 06 September 2020]

United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution.   GENERAL PRINCIPLES
“1. Nature shall be respected and its essential processes shall not be impaired.
2. (…) habitats shall be safeguard.
3. All areas of the earth, both land and sea, shall be subject to these principles of conservation; special protection shall be given to unique areas, (…) to the habitats of rare or endangered species.
(…)
5. Nature shall be secured against degradation caused by (…) hostile activities.”
1985 Vienna Convention.Footnote

1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, opened for signature 22 march 1985, (entered into forced 22 September 1988) UNTS 1513, (p.293).

Multilateral. Article 2, para.1. Article 2: General obligations
“1. The Parties shall take appropriate measures in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and of those protocols in force to which they are party to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects resulting or likely to result from human activities which modify or are likely to modify the ozone layer.
(…)”
1987 Declaration on the Second International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea.Footnote

Second International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea, London, 27 November 1987.

Regional Declaration. Articles VII; XV item(ii); and XVI para.(1). Ministerial Declaration
“(…)
VII. Accepting that, in order to protect the North Sea from possibly damaging effects of the most dangerous substances, a precautionary approach is necessary which may require action to control inputs of such substances even before a causal link has been established by absolutely clear scientific evidence;
(…)
XV. Decide to:
(…)
(ii) accept that by combining, simultaneously and complementarily, approaches based on emission standards and environmental quality objectives, a more precautionary approach to dangerous substances will be established;
(…)
XVI. Therefore agree to:
(…)
l. accept the principle of safeguarding the marine ecosystem of the North Sea by reducing polluting emissions of substances that are persistent, toxic and liable to bioaccumulate at source by the use of the best available technology and other appropriate measures. This applies especially when there is reason to assume that certain damage or harmful effects on the living resources of the sea are likely to be caused by such substances, even where there is no scientific evidence to prove a causal link between emissions and effects (“the principle of precautionary action”); (…)”
1987 The Montreal Protocol.Footnote

Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, opened for signature 16 September 1987, (entered into forced 01 January 1989) UNTS 26369.

Protocol, Multilateral. Preamble, para(s). 6 and 8. Preamble.
“(…) Determined to protect the ozone layer by taking precautionary measures to control equitably total global emissions of substances that deplete it, with the ultimate objective of their elimination on the basis of developments in scientific knowledge, taking into account technical and economic considerations and bearing in mind the developmental needs of developing countries,
(…)
Noting the precautionary measures for controlling emissions of certain chlorofluorocarbons that have already been taken at national and regional levels, (…)”
1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.Footnote

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, opened for signature 09 May 1992, (entered into forced 21 March 1994) UNTS 1771 (p.107).

Multilateral. Article 3. Article 3.
PRINCIPLES.
“(…)
3. The Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures, taking into account that policies and measures to deal with climate change should be cost-effective so as to ensure global benefits at the lowest possible cost. To achieve this, such policies and measures should take into account different socio-economic contexts, be comprehensive, cover all relevant sources, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases and adaptation, and comprise all economic sectors. Efforts to address climate change may be carried out cooperatively by interested Parties. (…)”
1992 The Water Convention.Footnote

Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, adopted on 17 March 1992, (entered into forced 06 October 1996).

Regional. Article 2, para. 5, item (a). Article 2.
General Provisions.
“(...)5. (…) the Parties shall be guided by the following principles:
(a) The precautionary principle, by virtue of which action to avoid the potential transboundary impact of the release of hazardous substances shall not to be postponed on the ground that scientific research has not fully proved a causal link between those substances, on the one hand, and the potential transboundary impact, on the other hand; (…)”
1992 Rio Declaration.Footnote

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 14 June 1992, UN Doc. A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 Report of the UNCED Vol.1 (New York).

International. Principle 15. Principle 15.
“In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”
1992 The Maastricht Treaty.Footnote

Treaty on European Union, adopted on 07 February 1992, (entered into forced 01 November 1993) UNTS 298, (p.11).

Regional. Article 130r, para. (2). Title XVI Environment
Article 130r
“(…)
2. Community policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection taking into account the diversity of situations in the various regions of the Community. It shall be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay. Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of other Community policies. (…)”
1992 Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents.Footnote

Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, adopted on 17 March 1992, (entered into forced 19 April 2000) UNTS 2105, (p. 457), with Amendments as Adopted in 2015.

Regional. Article 3, para. 1. Article 3
General provisions
“1. The Parties shall, taking into account efforts already made at national and international levels, take appropriate measures and cooperate within the framework of this Convention, to protect human beings and the environment against industrial accidents by preventing such accidents as far as possible, by reducing their frequency and severity and by mitigating their effects. To this end, preventive, preparedness and response measures, including restoration measures, shall be applied. (…)”
1992 Helsinki Convention.Footnote

Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, opened for signature 17 March 1992, (entered into force 17 January 2000) 1507 UNTS.

Regional. Article 3, para. 2. Article 3.
Fundamental principles and obligations.
“(…)
2. The Contracting Parties shall apply the precautionary principle, i.e., to take preventive measures when there is reason to assume that substances or energy introduced, directly or indirectly, into the marine environment may create hazards to human health, harm living resources and marine ecosystems, damage amenities or interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea even when there is no conclusive evidence of a causal relationship between inputs and their alleged effects. (…)”
1992 OSPAR Convention.Footnote

Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (opened for signature 22 September 1992, entered into force 25 March 1998) 2354 UNTS.

Multilateral, Regional. Article 2, para. 2, item a). Article 2.
“(…) The Contracting Parties shall apply:
a) the precautionary principle, by virtue of which preventive measures are to be taken when there are reasonable grounds for concern that substances or energy introduced, directly or indirectly, into the marine environment may bring about hazards to human health, harm living resources and marine ecosystems, damage amenities or interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea, even when there is no conclusive evidence of a causal relationship between the inputs and the effects; (…)”
1994 Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions.Footnote

Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions, Oslo, 14 June 1994, in force 05 August 1998, UNTS 2030, (p. 122).

Protocol, Multilateral. Preamble. Preamble.
“(…) Resolved to take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize emissions of air pollutants and mitigate their adverse effects,
Convinced that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures, taking into account that such precautionary measures to deal with emissions of air pollutants should be cost-effective, (…)”
1994 Energy Charter Treaty. Multilateral. Article 19, para. (1). Article 19: Environmental Aspects
“(1) In pursuit of sustainable development and taking into account its obligations under those international agreements concerning the environment to which it is party, each Contracting Party shall strive to minimise in an economically efficient manner harmful Environmental Impacts occurring either within or outside its Area from all operations within the Energy Cycle in its Area, taking proper account of safety. In doing so each Contracting Party shall act in a Cost-Effective manner. In its policies and actions each Contracting Party shall strive to take precautionary measures to prevent or minimise environmental degradation.(…)”
1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement.Footnote

Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UN Fish Stocks Agreement), 2167 UNTS 3.

Multilateral, Regional. Article 6. Article 6.
Application of the precautionary approach.
“1. States shall apply the precautionary approach widely to conservation, management and exploitation of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks in order to protect the living marine resources and preserve the marine environment.
2. States shall be more cautious when information is uncertain, unreliable or inadequate. The absence of adequate scientific information shall not be used as a reason for postponing or failing to take conservation and management measures.
3. In implementing the precautionary approach, States shall:
(a) improve decision-making (…) by obtaining and sharing the best scientific information available and implementing improved techniques for dealing with risk and uncertainty; (…)
(c) take into account, inter alia, uncertainties (…) and the impact of fishing activities on non-target and associated or dependent species, as well as existing and predicted oceanic, environmental and socio-economic conditions;
(d) develop data collection and research programmes to assess the impact of fishing on non-target and associated or dependent species and their environment, and adopt plans which are necessary to ensure the conservation of such species and to protect habitats of special concern.
(…)
6. For new or exploratory fisheries, States shall adopt as soon as possible cautious conservation and management measures, including, inter alia, catch limits and effort limits. Such measures shall remain in force until there are sufficient data to allow assessment of the impact of the fisheries on the long-term sustainability of the stocks, whereupon conservation and management measures based on that assessment shall be implemented. The latter measures shall, if appropriate, allow for the gradual development of the fisheries.
7. If a natural phenomenon has a significant adverse impact on the status of straddling fish stocks or highly migratory fish stocks, States shall adopt conservation and management measures on an emergency basis to ensure that fishing activity does not exacerbate such adverse impact. States shall also adopt such measures on an emergency basis where fishing activity presents a serious threat to the sustainability of such stocks. (…)”
1996 London Protocol.Footnote

1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention), London, 7 November 1996, in force 24 March 2006, 2006 ATS 11 (London Protocol).

Protocol, Multilateral. Article 3, para. 1. Article 3.
General Obligations
“1. In implementing this Protocol, Contracting Parties shall apply a precautionary approach to environmental protection from dumping of wastes or other matter whereby appropriate preventative measures are taken when there is reason to believe that wastes or other matter introduced into the marine environment are likely to cause harm even when there is no conclusive evidence to prove a causal relation between inputs and their effects. (…)”
1999 Convention on the Protection of the Rhine.Footnote

Convention on the Protection of the Rhine, adopted on 12 April 1999, (entered into forced 01 January 2003).

Regional. Article 4, item (a). Article 4
Principles
“To this end, the Contracting Parties shall be guided by the following principles:
(a) precautionary principle; (…)”
2000 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.Footnote

Protocol to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety), Cartagena de Indias, adopted on 29 January 2000, (entered into force on 11 September 2003) UNTS 2226, (p.208).

Multilateral. Preamble, and Articles 1; 10 para. 6; and 11 para. 8. Preamble
“(…) Reaffirming the precautionary approach contained in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,(…)”
Article 1
OBJECTIVE
In accordance with the precautionary approach contained in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the objective of this Protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements.
Article 10
DECISION PROCEDURE
“(…) 6. Lack of scientific certainty due to insufficient relevant scientific information and knowledge regarding the extent of the potential adverse effects of a living modified organism on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the Party of import, taking also into account risks to human health, shall not prevent that Party from taking a decision, as appropriate, with regard to the import of the living modified organism in question as referred to in paragraph 3 above, in order to avoid or minimize such potential adverse effects. (…)”
Article 11
PROCEDURE FOR LIVING MODIFIED ORGANISMS INTENDED FOR DIRECT USE AS FOOD OR FEED, OR FOR PROCESSING
“(…) 8. Lack of scientific certainty due to insufficient relevant scientific information and knowledge regarding the extent of the potential adverse effects of a living modified organism on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the Party of import, taking also into account risks to human health, shall not prevent that Party from taking a decision, as appropriate, with regard to the import of that living modified organism intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing, in order to avoid or minimize such potential adverse effects. (…)”
2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.Footnote

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, adopted on 22 May 2001, (entered into force on 17 May 2004) UNTS 2256, (p.119).

Multilateral. Preamble para. 8; and Articles 1, and 8 para. 9. Preamble
“(…) Acknowledging that precaution underlies the concerns of all the Parties and is embedded within this Convention, (…)”
Article 1
Objective
Mindful of the precautionary approach as set forth in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the objective of this Convention is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants.
Article 8
“(…)
9. The Committee shall, based on the risk profile referred to in paragraph 6 and the risk management evaluation referred to in paragraph 7 (a) or paragraph 8, recommend whether the chemical should be considered by the Conference of the Parties for listing in Annexes A, B and/or C. The Conference of the Parties, taking due account of the recommendations of the Committee, including any scientific uncertainty, shall decide, in a precautionary manner, whether to list the chemical, and specify its related control measures, in Annexes A, B and/or C.”
2003 Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea.Footnote

Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, adopted on 04 November 2003, (entered into force on 12 August 2006).

Regional. Article 5, para. (a). Article 5. Principles
“In the actions for goal achievement of this Convention and accomplishment of its provisions Contracting Parties are guided, including:
(a) the principle of taking measures of precaution according to which, in the presence of threat of serious or irreversible damage for the marine environment of the Caspian Sea, references to lack of complete scientific confidence are not used as the reason for delay of cost-efficient measures for the prevention of similar damage; (…)”
2014 The Polar Code.Footnote

International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), adopted on 94th Session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in November 2014, entered into force 01 January 2017.

Multilateral, Regional (Polar waters). Part II-A and Part II-B
Pollution Prevention Measures.
See the Chapter 1 text with reference to “information” needs and applications from the Polar Code (2017)
2018 The CAO Fisheries Agreement.Footnote

‘Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean’, 12.6.2018, COM (2018) 454 final, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52018PC0453&from=EN; last accessed 05 May 2020.

Multilateral, Regional. Article 5, para. 1, item c). Article 5.
Review and Further Implementation.
“(…) c) on the basis of the scientific information derived from the Joint Program of Scientific Research and Monitoring, from the national scientific programs, and from other relevant sources, and taking into account relevant fisheries management and ecosystem considerations, including the precautionary approach and potential adverse impacts of fishing on the ecosystems, consider, inter alia, whether the distribution, migration and abundance of fish in the Agreement Area would support a sustainable commercial fishery and, (…).”

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Berkman, P.A., Young, O.R., Vylegzhanin, A.N., Balton, D.A., Øvretveit, O.R. (2022). (Research): Introduction: Building Common Interests with Informed Decisionmaking for Sustainability. In: Berkman, P.A., Vylegzhanin, A.N., Young, O.R., Balton, D.A., Øvretveit, O.R. (eds) Building Common Interests in the Arctic Ocean with Global Inclusion. Informed Decisionmaking for Sustainability. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-89312-5_1

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