–– DRAFT FOR CONSULTATION ––

As outlined in CMS Notification 2016/031, the draft “CMS Family Guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessments for Marine Noise-generating Activities” presented below are available for final comments by Focal Points and members of the advisory bodies and relevant working groups of CMS, ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS. Input is requested by 15 February 2017, and should be emailed to cms.secretariat@cms.int.

We request that all substantive inputs to the draft Guidelines be made during this second consultation phase. The resulting version and draft resolution will be presented to the 2nd Meeting of the Sessional Committee of the Scientific Council (ScC-SC2, July 2017) and subsequently to the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CMS (COP12, October 2017) for adoption.

 

Technical Support Information –– OPEN FOR PEER REVIEW ––

Parties and members of the advisory bodies and relevant working groups of CMS, ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS are also welcome to peer review the expert-authored Technical Support Information Modules made available below, by the deadline given above. Please note that changes will remain at the discretion of each author.

A single file containing all Modules of the Technical Support Information is available here.

 

Development of the Guidelines and Technical Support Information

Several resolutions of ASCOBANS, ACCOBAMS and CMS have recognized underwater noise as a major threat to many marine species. These resolutions call for noise-related considerations to be taken into account as early as the planning stages of activities, especially by making effective use of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). Thanks to a voluntary contribution from Monaco, the CMS Secretariat on behalf also of the ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS Secretariats was able to hire consultants to undertake this work.

The consultants developed the modules with a range of experts on the different species and topics. The draft was sent in early April 2016 to CMS Scientific Councillors, ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee Members and ASCOBANS Advisory Committee Members, the CMS Scientific Council Aquatic Mammals Working Group, the CMS/ASCOBANS/ACCOBAMS Joint Noise Working Group, CMS, ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS Focal Points, a number of IUCN Species Specialist Groups as well as the CMS, ASCOBANS and ACCOBAMS Secretariats (see also CMS Notification 2016/009). The commenting period ended in early July 2016, by which time the European Commission and six State Parties, as well as partner organizations, had provided input.

With the intention that all relevant CMS Family instruments adopt the same guidelines, the resulting revised draft was presented to the 8th Meeting of the Parties to ASCOBANS (MOP8) in August 2016 (available as ASCOBANSMOP8/Doc.6.2.7.b Rev.1: CMS Family Guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessments for Marine Noise-generating Activities), representing what the experts urge Parties to consider.

ASCOBANS MOP8, through ASCOBANS Resolution 8.11, requested that Parties to CMS, ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS be given additional opportunity to provide input, and invited CMS to consider adoption at COP12. Discussions at ASCOBANS MOP8 further indicated that the document would benefit from clearer distinction between the explanatory modules (modules B to H in the original proposal) and the guidelines recommended for adoption (originally module I). Accordingly, the separation reflected above was introduced, with one document containing the Guidelines, accompanied by detailed, expert-authored Technical Support Information.

The final draft Guidelines will be presented to the 2nd Meeting of the Sessional Committee of the Scientific Council (ScC-SC2, July 2017) and subsequently to the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CMS (COP12, October 2017).