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Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context

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Bilateral & Multilateral Agreements


Article 8 of the Convention (Bilateral and Multilateral Co-operation) states "The Parties may continue existing or enter into new bilateral or multilateral agreements or other arrangements in order to implement their obligations under this Convention. Such agreements or other arrangements may be based on the elements listed in Appendix VI" (Elements for Bilateral and Multilateral Co-operation).

Guidance on the Practical Application of the Espoo Convention, adopted in June 2004 PDF ENG+FRE+RUS

Regarding bilateral and multilateral agreements, the Guidance notes that there are many issues that can be agreed upon in advance by Parties that expect to have transboundary assessments on a regular basis. The Convention provides a legal basis for agreements (Article 2, para. 2, and Article 8). Appendix VI to the Convention contains elements for such agreements. These agreements are not a precondition for the application or ratification of the Convention but should be seen as a way of achieving effective application.

See also :

Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation on EIA in a Transboundary Context (1995 report, CEP/WG.3/R.4), UNECE web ENG
Multilateral Environmental Agreement Negotiator's Handbook, UNEP et al PDF ENG external link
Review of Transboundary EIA provisions and initiatives in selected Regional and Multilateral Environmental Agreements, as presented to the 9th meeting of the Working Group on EIA PDF ENG

Examples of specific agreements are available here:

Draft Multilateral agreement among the countries of South-East Europe for implementation of the Convention (ECE/MP.EIA/WG.1/2007/10) PDF ENG FRE RUS
- further information on the "Bucharest Agreement" web ENG
Austria-Slovakia bilateral agreement PDF German Slovak
Agreement between Estonia and Latvia on transboundary EIA (1997) PDF ENG
Agreement between Estonia and Finland on transboundary EIA (2002) PDF ENG
- ditto PDF Finnish+Estonia external link
Description of an outline agreement between Italy and Croatia PDF ENG
Common Declaration on transboundary EIA between the Netherlands and Germany PDF Dutch+German
- contacts PDF Dutch+German
Germany-Poland bilateral agreement, April 2006 (in force from 6 July 2007) PDF German Polish
- as published in 2007 PDF Polish Russian
Agreement between Poland & Lithuania on transboundary EIA PDF Lithuanian Polish

The regional seas agreements often have provisions relating to transboundary EIA, though often only at a general level, for example:

Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution, Barcelona, 9 February 1976 (see particularly art. 4, para. 3(c)-(d)) - Secretariat: UNEP (Regional Seas Programme) web ENG external link
Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, Helsinki, 9 April 1992 (see particularly article 7) - Governing Body: Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) web ENG external link
Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution, Bucharest, 21 April 1992 - Permanent Secretariat: Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (Black Sea Commission) web ENG external link
Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, Teheran, November 2003 (see particularly art. 17, paras. 4-6) - Interim Secretariat: UNEP (Regional Seas Programme) web ENG external link

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