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Within a regulatory context, an environmental impact assessment is more than an assessment of impacts of a given project’s footprint. It involves a review of the impacts that could occur in addition to the potential impacts from catastrophic events and the need for emergency responses. In most cases, there are a number of regulatory requirements that fall within a broad range of jurisdictions and competent authorities. Environmental impact assessments are done primarily to identify ecosystem and socio-economic issues that become the basis for management measures to prevent and mitigate the impacts as conditions for project approvals.
This chapter discusses the need to reconcile the scale of ecosystem vulnerabilities with the impacts generated by deep-sea mining activities as the basis for an ecosystem approach. It introduces the use of international risk management standards and techniques already in use in the industry to bridge the assessment of these vulnerabilities with the regulatory requirements of this industry. It discusses the need for an assessment of effectiveness of the controls, measures and procedures in preventing and mitigating ecosystem impacts.
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- Ecosystem Approach for the Management of Deep-Sea Mining Activities