How do we assess impacts in the marine environment? - an introduction Nick Taylor
This issue looks at issues around impact assessment and the marine environment. Popular media have, in recent times, highlighted negative human impacts on the marine environment, from plastic found in dead turtles, to coral bleaching in Australia and the Pacific, to overfishing, deep-sea exploration and resource extraction. We are reminded frequently of sea-level rise impacting on coastal settlements and increasing intensity of ocean storms and coastal disasters.
Impact assessment seems to have a weak connection into resource policy, decision making and management for the ocean environment. We ask as an Association, how can this connection be improved? What are we learning to help locate impact assessment as a key part of planning and decision making processes relating to the marine environment? How can we be more effective in our contribution?
We look first at issues around iwi, impact assessment and the marine environment with an article by Dyanna Jolly.
An article follows by Christine Cheyne, reviewing the influence of impact assessment on decisions around deep-sea mining by Trans Tasman Resources.
Hamish Rennie provides a further case study, of the impact assessment undertaken for consent to leave the remnants of the wreck of the Rena on the reef off the port of Tauranga, with discussion of the consequent Environment Court decision.
Jurisdictions in the marine and coastal environment are not always clear, an issue addressed by Dan Minhinnik and Rachel Robilliard, resource management lawyers at Russell McVeagh (with our thanks for their agreeing on us making a link to their previous piece on this topic).
Finally on the marine theme, Nick Taylor summarises initiatives on impact assessment and the marine environment in the Pacific Islands, drawing on the guidelines for EIA prepared by our colleagues at SPREP.
This issue ends with an article on SEA in New Zealand by Chantal Whitby. She draws on our Lincoln (2016) conference on this topic to provide an overview of SEA here. This commentary provides a useful link to current discussions about SEA in Australia and New Zealand during and following up from the recent EIANZ conference in Wellington, where NZAIA collaborated with our Australian colleagues in a round table discussion to consider joint initiatives around SEA. Members of NZAIA are working on these initiative with the EIANZ Special Interest Section on Impact Assessment.