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Beyond the Arbitral Ruling: A Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment in the South China Sea

  • Amiel Ian VALDEZ (a1)

Abstract

The South China Sea is a common resource where ASEAN Member States derive multiple uses. Nevertheless, the competing claims and conflicting interests of ASEAN nations and other claimants, such as China, raise the issue of transboundary harm within this sea and the sustainability of its resources. This paper argues that, despite the absence of a region-based transboundary environmental impact assessment [EIA] regime covering the South China Sea, ASEAN Member States are bound by their commitments under the Law of the Sea Convention and other binding agreements, as complemented by customary international law, which provide guidance in applying a transboundary EIA over a shared resource. The South China Sea Arbitration particularly sets the minimum requisites of not only preparing an EIA, but also communicating the EIA results to relevant international organizations. Here, ASEAN can play a vital role as a platform through which where EIA communication can be channelled.

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Copyright

Footnotes

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Assistant Professorial Lecturer 2, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines. The author is also an Attorney at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines. He is grateful to Professor Jacqueline Peel of Melbourne Law School for her valuable inputs, and for encouraging the author to submit this research paper for publication.

Footnotes

References

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1. See John H. KNOX, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Issue of Human Rights Obligations Relating to the Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment, UN Doc. A/HRC/34/49 (19 January 2017) 12 at para. 36.

2. South China Sea Arbitration (Philippines v. China) (Final Award) (Arbitral Tribunal constituted under annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, PCA Case No. 2013-19, 12 July 2016).

3. Eugene C. LAFOND, “South China Sea” (22 July 2013), online: Encyclopedia Britannica <https://www.britannica.com/place/South-China-Sea>.

4. International Hydrographic Bureau, Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd ed. (1953) 30–1; see also International Hydrographic Organization, Limits of Oceans and Seas, draft 4th ed. (2002, unpublished), online: International Hydrographic Organization <https://www.iho.int/mtg_docs/com_wg/S-23WG/S-23WG_Misc/Draft_2002/Draft_2002.htm> at 6-7 and 6-8.

5. International Hydrographic Organization, supra note 4 at 6-10.

6. International Hydrographic Bureau, supra note 4 at 23.

7. WU, Shicun and ZOU, Keyuan, eds., Maritime Security in the South China Sea: Regional Implications and International Cooperation (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009) at 15.

8. See AH, Yusoff and CAR, Mohamed, “Mini Review Uranium-Thorium Decay Series in the Marine Environment of the Southern South China Sea” (2016) 5 Journal of Geology & Geophysics at 1–2.

9. Barbara Watson ANDAYA, “Introduction to Southeast Asia”, online: Center for Global Education <http://asiasociety.org/education/introduction-southeast-asia>.

10. See ANAND, Ram Prakash, Origin and Development of the Law of the Sea: History of International Law Revisited (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 1983) at ixx.

11. HUANG, Jing and BILLO, Andrew, eds., Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea: Navigating Rough Waters (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) at 2.

12. Ibid.

13. BUSZYNSKI, Leszek, “The South China Sea: Oil, Maritime Claims, and U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry” (2012) 35 The Washington Quarterly 139 at 148–50, 152.

14. Ibid.

15. See e.g. Tom BENNER, “Tensions Escalate over South China Sea Claims” Al Jazeera (5 June 2016), online: Al Jazeera <http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/tensions-escalate-south-china-sea-claims-160605065515637.html>; “Philippine Warship ‘in Stand-off’ with Chinese Vessels” BBC (11 April 2012), online: BBC <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-17673426>; “Vietnam Protests over Chinese Military Drill in South China Sea” South China Morning Post (1 September 2017), online: South China Morning Post <https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2109285/vietnam-protests-over-chinese-military-drill-south>; “Indonesia Sinks Scores More Boats in War on Illegal Fishing” Reuters (3 April 2017), online: Reuters <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-fishing/indonesia-sinks-scores-more-boats-in-war-on-illegal-fishing-idUSKBN1750UP>.

16. GALDORISI, George, “The South China Sea: The World's Most Important Body of Water?” (2014) 40 Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter (2002) 32 at 32.

17. Ibid.

18. AHMAD, Zakaria Haji and GHOSHAL, Baladas, “The Political Future of ASEAN After the Asian Crisis” (1999) 75 International Affairs 759 at 764–9.

19. GAMAGE, Rajni Nayanthara, “Blue Economy in Southeast Asia: Oceans as the New Frontier of Economic Development” (2016) 12 Maritime Affairs: Journal of the National Maritime Foundation of India 1 at 2–3 (citations omitted).

20. Prashanth PARAMESWARAN, “Laos in the ASEAN Spotlight: Opportunities and Challenges” The Diplomat (23 July 2016), online: The Diplomat <https://thediplomat.com/2016/07/laos-in-the-asean-spotlight-opportunities-and-challenges/>; Hongliang GE, “Laos Strikes Careful Balance on South China Sea Disputes as ASEAN Chair” Global Times (4 May 2016), online: Global Times <http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/981392.shtml>.

21. See e.g. WANG, Zhen Feng, SUN, Zhi Peng, ZHU, Ji Tian, GUO, Ming Gang, and JIANG, Ru Feng, “Natural Gas Geological Characteristics and Great Discovery of Large Gas Fields in Deep-Water Area of the Western South China Sea” (2015) 2(6) Natural Gas Industry B 489 at 497–8; KAPLAN, Robert D., “The South China Sea is the Future of Conflict” (2011) 188 Foreign Policy 76 at 80–1.

22. “Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of Southeast Asia, 2010—Fact Sheet 2010-3015”, online: United States Geological Survey <https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2010/3015/pdf/FS10-3015.pdf>; see also “South China Sea” (7 February 2013), online: United States Energy Information Administration <https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis_includes/regions_of_interest/South_China_Sea/south_china_sea.pdf> at 4.

23. BA, Alice D., “Staking Claims and Making Waves in the South China Sea: How Troubled are the Waters?” (2011) 33 Contemporary Southeast Asia 269 at 286.

24. MORTON, Brian and BLACKMORE, Graham, “South China Sea” (2001) 42 Marine Pollution Bulletin 1236 at 1239; see also HUANG, Danwei et al. , “Extraordinary Diversity of Reef Corals in the South China Sea” (2015) 45 Marine Biodiversity 157 at 162–3.

25. “Coral Triangle”, online: World Wildlife Fund <https://www.worldwildlife.org/places/coral-triangle>.

26. KOOL, Johnathan T., PARIS, Claire B., BARBER, Paul H., and COWEN, Robert K., “Connectivity and the Development of Population Genetic Structure in Indo-West Pacific Coral Reef Communities: Indo-West Pacific Connectivity” (2011) 20 Global Ecology and Biogeography 695 at 695.

27. “ASEAN Heritage Parks Database”, online: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity <https://aseanbiodiversity.org/the-ahp-programme/asean-heritage-parks/>.

28. FITZMAURICE, Malgosia, ONG, David M., and MERKOURIS, Panos, eds., Research Handbook on International Environmental Law (Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2010) at 418.

29. ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks (2003) at para. 6; see also ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks and Reserves (1984).

30. See Joint Communiqué of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (5 August 2017), online: ASEAN <https://asean.org/storage/2017/08/Joint-Communique-of-the-50th-AMM_FINAL.pdf> at [191-2]; Joint Communiqué of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (24 July 2016), online: ASEAN <https://asean.org/storage/2016/07/Joint-Communique-of-the-49th-AMM-ADOPTED.pdf> at [174-5]; Joint Statement of the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States and China on the Full and Effective Implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (25 July 2016), online: ASEAN <https://asean.org/storage/2016/07/Joint-Statement-on-the-full-and-effective-implementation-of-the-DOC-FINAL.pdf>.

31. “Overview of Malampaya”, online: Malampaya <https://malampaya.com/about/>.

32. Ibid.

33. See “Petroleum Exploration Opportunities in Vietnam”, online: Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia <http://www.ccop.or.th/ppm/document/CHWS4/CHWS4 DOC11_PETROVIETNAM.pdf> at 3.

34. DANIELS, Christopher L., South China Sea: Energy and Security Conflicts (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013) at 25.

35. “Country Analysis Brief: Malaysia” (26 April 2017), online: United States Energy Information Administration <http://www.ieee.es/Galerias/fichero/OtrasPublicaciones/Internacional/2017/EIA_Malasya_26abr2017.pdf>; see also “Malaysia Present Status”, online: Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia <http://www.ccop.or.th/epf/malaysia/malay_status.html> at 5.

36. Daniels, supra note 34 at 19.

37. See “Country Analysis Brief: Brunei” (March 2017), online: United States Energy Information Administration <https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.cfm?iso=BRN>.

38. “Malaysia and Brunei in Joint Oil, Gas Exploration” The Straits Times (12 August 2015), online: The Straits Times <http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-and-brunei-in-joint-oil-gas-exploration>; Asiyah as-Zahra Ahmad KUMPOH, “Brunei Darussalam in 2016: Adjusting to Economic Challenges” (2017) Southeast Asian Affairs 115 at 121.

39. Frances MANGOSING, “Petron Claims Responsibility for Cavite Oil Spill” Philippine Daily Inquirer (12 August 2013), online: Philippine Daily Inquirer <http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/464163/petron-claims-responsibility-for-cavite-oil-spill>.

40. Andrew STEVENS, “Thailand Oil Spill: Tourists Abandon Blackened Koh Samet Beach” CNN (1 August 2013), online: CNN <http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/31/world/asia/thailand-beach-oil-spill/index.html>.

41. WARNER, Robin and MARSDEN, Simon, eds., Transboundary Environmental Governance: Inland, Coastal and Marine Perspectives (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012) at 182.

42. POMEROY, Robert, PARKES, John, COURTNEY, Kitty, and MATTICH, Nives, “Improving Marine Fisheries Management in Southeast Asia: Results of a Regional Fisheries Stakeholder Analysis” (2016) 65 Marine Policy 20 at 20.

43. “Regional Overview of Fisheries and Aquatic in Asia and the Pacific”, online: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific <http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i3185e/i3185e00.pdf> at 2.

44. Ibid., at 11.

45. Adam GREER, “The South China Sea is Really a Fishery Dispute” The Diplomat (20 July 2016), online: The Diplomat <https://thediplomat.com/2016/07/the-south-china-sea-is-really-a-fishery-dispute/>; Rachel BALE, “One of the World's Fisheries is on the Verge of Collapse” National Geographic (29 August 2016), online: National Geographic <https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/wildlife-south-china-sea-overfishing-threatens-collapse/>.

46. SCHEFFER, Marten, CARPENTER, Steve, and YOUNG, Brad DE, “Cascading Effects of Overfishing Marine Systems” (2005) 20 Trends in Ecology & Evolution 579 at 579.

47. China's Land Reclamation in the South China Sea” (2015) 21(4) Strategic Comments ix at ix.

48. DOLVEN, Ben, ELSEA, Jennifer K., LAWRENCE, Susan V., O'ROURKE, Ronald, and RINEHART, Ian E., “Chinese Land Reclamation in the South China Sea: Implications and Policy Options” (2015) 24 Current Politics and Economics of Northern and Western Asia 319 at 327.

49. Youna LYONS and Fung Wong HIU, “South China Sea: Turning Reefs into Artificial Islands” (30 April 2015), Commentary No. 104, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, online: RSIS <https://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/CO15104.pdf> at 2.

50. Warner and Marsden, supra note 41 at 177.

51. BIRNIE, Patricia W, BOYLE, Alan E, and REDGWELL, Catherine, International Law and the Environment, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) at 164 (citations omitted).

52. Ibid., 165.

53. SANDS, Philippe and PEEL, Jacqueline, Principles of International Environmental Law, 3rd ed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012) at 601.

54. Ibid.

55. BEYERLIN, Ulrich and MARAUHN, Thilo, International Environmental Law (Oxford: Hart, 2011) at 231.

56. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, opened for signature 10 December 1982, 1833 UNTS 397 (entered into force 16 November 1994) [UNCLOS].

57. Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, opened for signature 4 October 1991, [1998] ATS 6 (entered into force 14 January 1998) [Madrid Protocol].

58. Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, opened for signature 25 February 1991, 1989 UNTS 309 (entered into force 10 September 1997) [Espoo Convention].

59. Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment, opened for signature 21 May 2003, 2685 UNTS 140 (entered into force 11 July 2010) [Kiev Protocol].

60. ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, opened for signature 10 June 2002 (entered into force 25 November 2003) [Haze Agreement] arts. 5–15.

61. Ibid., art. 1 (6), (7).

62. Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, opened for signature 12 September 2005 (entered into force 23 July 2009) [ACB Agreement].

63. Birnie et al., supra note 51 at 165 (on the relation of an EIA to the implementation of sustainable development).

64. Agreement on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, opened for signature 9 July 1985, 15 EPL 2 (not yet in force).

65. See generally RAJAMANI, Lavanya, “The 2015 Paris Agreement: Interplay Between Hard, Soft and Non-Obligations: Table 1” (2016) 28(2) Journal of Environmental Law 337 at 352 (on the legal character of a treaty provision).

66. ALAM, Shawkat, BHUIYAN, Md Jahid Hossain, CHOWDHURY, Tareq M.R., and TECHERA, Erika J., eds., Routledge Handbook of International Environmental Law (Abingdon: Taylor and Francis, 2012) at 466.

67. ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 (ASEAN Secretariat, 2016) s. C.1.

68. Ibid., s. C.1.iii.

69. ASEAN Environment Division, “ASEAN Marine Water Quality Management Guidelines and Monitoring Manual” (13 June 2013), online: ASEAN <http://environment.asean.org/asean-marine-water-quality-management-guidelines-and-monitoring-manual/>.

70. See e.g. Singapore Resolution on Environment and Development, ASEAN Ministers for the Environment (18 February 1992); Yangon Resolution on Sustainable Development, ASEAN Ministers for the Environment (18 December 2003); Cebu Resolution on Sustainable Development, ASEAN Ministers for the Environment (2006).

71. ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability, ASEAN Heads of State/Government (20 November 2007).

72. Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, online: United Nations Treaty Series Online <https://treaties.un.org/Pages/showDetails.aspx?objid=080000028002887c&clang=_en>; Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, online: United Nations Treaty Series Online <https://treaties.un.org/Pages/showDetails.aspx?objid=08000002800288e4&clang=_en>.

73. See Espoo Convention, supra note 58, appendix I (List of Activities).

74. Consolidated Table of Ratifications/Accessions, 31 July 2017, online: United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea <https://www.un.org/depts/los/reference_files/status2018.pdf>.

75. SELVIG, Kirsten, “Expensive Freedom: Establishing Marine Protected Areas on the Open Ocean Requires an End to the Freedom of the Seas” (2013) 22 Minnesota Journal of International Law 35 at 39.

76. UNCLOS, supra note 56, art. 206 in relation to art. 205; see also UNCLOS, art. 165 (2)(d), (f) (on the duty of Legal and Technical Commission to prepare assessments of environmental implications).

77. Ibid., Part XII, s. 5.

78. Ibid., art. 208.

79. Ibid., art. 211.

80. 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, opened for signature 4 December 1995, 2167 UNTS 88 (entered into force 11 December 2001) [Fish Stocks Agreement].

81. Ibid., art. 2.

82. Pakjuta KHEMAKORN, “Sustainable Management of Pelagic Fisheries in the South China Sea Region” (November 2006), online: UN <http://www.un.org/Depts/los/nippon/unnff_programme_home/fellows_pages/fellows_papers/khemakorn_0607_thailand.pdf> at 10–11.

83. See HENRIKSEN, Tore, HØNNELAND, Geir, and SYDNES, Are K, Law and Politics in Ocean Governance the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and Regional Fisheries Management Regimes (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2006) at 15–23.

84. Fish Stocks Agreement, supra note 80, arts. 5 (d), 6 (3) (d).

85. Ibid., part III.

86. United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, supra note 74.

87. Convention on Biological Diversity, opened for signature 5 June 1992, 1760 UNTS 79 (entered into force 29 December 1993) [CBD].

88. Ibid., art. 14 (1)(c) (emphasis added).

89. CRAIK, Neil, The International Law of Environmental Impact Assessment: Process, Substance and Integration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) at 99100.

90. See ASEAN Joint Statement to the Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 13), ASEAN Heads of State/Government (6 September 2016); Joint Communiqué of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, ASEAN Foreign Ministers (26 July 2016) at para. 67.

91. Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, opened for signature 2 November 1973, 1340 UNTS 62 (entered into force 2 October 1983) [MARPOL 73/78].

92. Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, opened for signature 23 November 1972, 1037 UNTS 151 (entered into force 15 December 1975) [World Heritage Convention].

93. Status of Conventions (9 October 2017), online: International Maritime Organization (IMO) <www.imo.org/en/About/Conventions/StatusOfConventions/Documents/status-x.xlsx>. World Heritage Convention State Parties Ratification Status (31 January 2017), online: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) <http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/>.

94. GUNDLING, Lothar, “The Status in International Law of the Principle of Precautionary Action” (1990) 5 International Journal of Estuarine and Coastal Law 23 at 29.

95. FRANCIONI, Francesco, “Thirty Years On: Is the World Heritage Convention Ready for the 21st Century” (2002) 12 Italian Yearbook of International Law 13 at 20.

96. Sands and Peel, supra note 53 at 202–3; see also Lada SOLJAN, “General Obligation to Prevent Transboundary Harm and Its Relation to Four Key Environmental Principles” (1998) Austrian Review of International and European Law 209.

97. Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, opened for signature 23 May 1969, 1155 UNTS 331 (entered into force 27 January 1980) [Convention on Law of Treaties].

98. KERSTEN, Charles M, “Rethinking Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment” (2009) 34 Yale Journal of International Law 173 at 178.

99. HUNTER, David, SALZMAN, James, and ZAELKE, Durwood, International Environmental Law and Policy 4th ed., (St Paul, MN: Foundation Press/Thomson Reuters, 2011) at 500.

100. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, GA Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, UN Doc. A/CONF.151/26 (Vol. I) (12 August 1992).

101. Birnie et al., supra note 51 at 166; see also FOO Kim Boon, “The Rio Declaration and Its Influence on International Environmental Law” (1992) Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 347 at 362–3.

102. See e.g. Request for an Examination of the Situation in Accordance with Paragraph 63 of the Court's Judgment of 20 December 1974 in the Nuclear Tests (New Zealand v. France) Case, [1995] I.C.J Rep. 288; Mox Plant Case (Ireland v. United Kingdom) (Provisional Measures), ITLOS Case No. 10; Case Concerning Land Reclamation by Singapore in and Around the Straits of Johor (Malaysia v. Singapore) (Provisional Measures), Case No. 12; Case Concerning the Gabčikovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungry v. Slovakia) (Judgment), [1997] I.C.J. Rep. 7.

103. Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) (Judgment), [2010] I.C.J. Rep. 14.

104. Ibid., at [25]–[26].

105. Ibid., at [203].

106. Ibid.

107. Ibid., at [204].

108. Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border of the Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v Costa Rica) (Judgment), [2015] I.C.J. Rep. 665 [Construction of a Road].

109. Ibid., at [56]–[58], [63].

110. Ibid., at [64].

111. Ibid., at [100].

112. Ibid., at [146].

113. Ibid., at [101].

114. Ibid., at [105].

115. Ibid., at [156].

116. Ibid., at [104].

117. Ibid., at [104].

118. South China Sea Arbitration, supra note 2 at [2].

119. Ibid., at [911].

120. Ibid.

121. Ibid., at [920]. China describes the natural simulation approach as one which “simulates the natural process of sea storms blowing away and moving biological scraps which gradually evolve into oasis on the sea”.

122. Ibid., at [921].

123. Ibid., at [991], [993].

124. Ibid., at [948]. (citations omitted, emphasis added).

125. Birnie et al., supra note 51 at 170; cf. KNOX, John H., ‘The Myth and Reality of Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment’ (2002) 96(2) American Journal of International Law 291 at 291–2.

126. See Statute of the International Court of Justice, art. 38 (1)(b); LEPARD, Brian D., Customary International Law a New Theory with Practical Applications (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) at 3.

127. KLEIN, David F., “A Theory for the Application of the Customary International Law of Human Rights by Domestic Courts” (1988) 13 Yale Journal of International Law 332 at 342.

128. CBD, supra note 87, art. 14(1).

129. Robin RAMCHARAN, “ASEAN and Non-Interference: A Principle Maintained” (2000) Contemporary Southeast Asia 60 at 64–6.

130. Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay [2010] I.C.J. Rep. 72 at [203].

131. Ibid., at [205].

132. LOHANI, Bindu N., EVANS, J. Warren, EVERITT, Robert R., LUDWIG, Harvey, CARPENTER, Richard A., and TU, Shih-Liang, Environmental Impact Assessment for Developing Countries in Asia Volume 1-Overview (Mandaluyong: Asian Development Bank, 1997) at 2–5.

133. BRIFFETT, Clive, “Environmental Impact Assessment in Southeast Asia: Fact and Fiction?” (1999) 49(3) GeoJournal 333 at 334–5.

134. See TANAKA, Yoshifumi, “Reflections on Historic Rights in the South China Sea Arbitration (Merits)” (2017) 32(3) International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 458.

135. Janis Mackey FRAYER, “South China Sea Ruling: What's Next for Beijing After Tribunal's Rebuke?” NBC News (12 July 2016), online: NBC News <https://www.nbcnews.com/news/china/south-china-sea-ruling-what-s-next-beijing-after-tribunal-n607851>; Christopher ROBERTS, “The South China Sea: Beijing's Challenge to ASEAN and UNCLOS and the Necessity of a New Multi-Tiered Approach”, Working Paper No. 307, Nanyang Technological University, 29 August 2017.

136. South China Sea Arbitration, supra note 2 at [940].

137. Ibid.

138. Ibid., at [941].

139. Ibid., at [944].

140. Ibid., at [959].

141. Ibid., at [964].

142. Ibid., at [987].

143. Ibid., at [989].

144. Ibid.

145. Ibid., at [990].

146. Ibid., at [978–83].

147. See Construction of a Road, supra note 108 at [105], [155–6].

148. South China Sea Arbitration, supra note 2 at [947].

149. Ibid., at [948] (emphasis added).

150. Ibid., at [991].

151. GOODWIN, Edward J., International Environmental Law and the Conservation of Coral Reefs (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011) at 66.

152. See also United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) 1833 U.N.T.S. 397, art. 208(5).

153. Corfu Channel (United Kingdom v. Albania) (Merits), [1949] I.C.J. Rep 4 at 22.

154. International Law Commission, Yearbook of the International Law Commission 2001, Vol. II, Part Two (New York: United Nations Publications, 2007) at 159–60.

155. South China Sea Arbitration, supra note 2 at [669–70], [910].

156. Ibid., at [946].

157. Ibid., at [984].

158. Ibid.

159. Ibid., at [986].

160. See generally POULANTZAS, Nicholas M., “European Union and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Mediterranean States: Does a Duty to Cooperate Exist?” (2013) 66 RHDI 311 at 315–16; LINEBAUGH, Christopher, “Joint Development in a Semi-Enclosed Sea: China's Duty to Cooperate in Developing the Natural Resources of the South China Sea” (2013) 52 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 542 at 567.

161. See e.g. CLARK, Elise Anne, “Strengthening Regional Fisheries Management-An Analysis of the Duty to Cooperate” (2011) 9 New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law 223 at 230–2.

162. YOUNG, Margaret A. and SULLIVAN, Sebastian Rioseco, “Evolution through the Duty to Cooperate: Implications of the Whaling Case at the International Court of Justice” (2015) 16 Melbourne Journal of International Law 311 at 334–7.

163. North Sea Continental Shelf (Federal Republic of Germany v. Denmark) (Merits) [1969] I.C.J. Rep 3 at 47.

164. International Law Commission, supra note 154 at 155 (art. 4 of the Draft Articles on Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities).

166. Ibid.

167. J.C. COTINGA and Regine CABATO, “ASEAN to Push for Legally Binding South China Sea Code of Conduct” CNN Philippines (5 August 2017), online: CNN Philippines <http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/08/05/asean-push-legally-binding-south-china-sea-code-of-conduct.html>.

168. Raul DANCEL, “ASEAN, China Adopt Framework of Code of Conduct for South China Sea” The Straits Times (6 August 2017), online: The Straits Times <http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/chinas-foreign-minister-says-maritime-code-negotiations-with-asean-to-start-this-year>.

169. Manuel MOGATO and Christian SHEPERD, “Australia, Japan, US call for South China Sea Code to be Legally Binding” Reuters (7 August 2017), online: Reuters <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asean-philippines-southchinasea/australia-japan-u-s-call-for-south-china-sea-code-to-be-legally-binding-idUSKBN1AN0TU>.

170. See VISONE, Tommaso, “The ‘ASEAN Way’: A Decolonial Path beyond ‘Asian Values’?” (2017) 9(1) Perspectives on Federalism 1.

171. HIRSCH, Philip, ed., Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017) at 154.

172. Declaration for a Decade of Coastal and Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea (2017–2027) (13 November 2017), online: ASEAN <https://asean.org/storage/2017/11/Declaration-for-a-Decade-of-Coastal-and-Marine-Environmental-Protection-in-the-South-China-Sea-2017-2027.pdf> at paras. 3, 6, 8, 12.

173. Ibid., at para. 14 (emphasis added).

174. Ibid., at para. 10.

175. Agreement on the Cooperation for Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin, 5 April 1995, 2069 UNTS 3 (entered into force 5 April 1995) [Mekong Agreement].

176. WELLS-DANG, Andrew, “Prospects for Regional Cooperation on Environmental Impact Assessment in Mainland Southeast Asia” (2015) 37 Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs 406 at 424–8.

177. Mekong Agreement, supra note 175 at arts. 11–27.

178. Charter of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, 20 November 2007, 2624 UNTS 223 (entered into force 15 December 2008).

179. ASEAN Vision 2020, online: ASEAN <http://asean.org/?static_post=asean-vision-2020> at para. 6; see also “ASEAN to Ensure Complementarity of Community Building Efforts with SDGs” ASEAN Secretariat News (31 March 2017), online ASEAN Secretariat News <http://asean.org/asean-to-ensure-complementarity-of-community-building-efforts-with-sdgs/>.

180. Birnie et al., supra note 51 at 165.

* Assistant Professorial Lecturer 2, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines. The author is also an Attorney at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines. He is grateful to Professor Jacqueline Peel of Melbourne Law School for her valuable inputs, and for encouraging the author to submit this research paper for publication.

Beyond the Arbitral Ruling: A Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment in the South China Sea

  • Amiel Ian VALDEZ (a1)

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