5 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (1979)

handle is hein.journals/envpola5 and id is 1 raw text is: 





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   The last editorial criticized the fact that the draft Con-
vention on  the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living
Resources was  still being kept secret. One of the people
concerned  questioned the wisdom  of this and sent the
current draft to us (see page 58), together with the letter
printed below. We  questioned the use of publishing the
text at this stage in time but were convinced that we have
an obligation to do so, and for the very reason that it was
being kept secret. It has always been, and continues to be
our policy to publish all information of interest to the
conservation community.  Even if the.text had not been sent
to us in this way and we would have obtained it through
another channel we would unhesitatingly have published it.
   We understand that Australia is hoping that there can be
some  informal consultations among all the treaty powers in
March for the purpose of reaching agreement on the EEC and
French  issue (see page 4). Unfortunately, one cannot be
too optimistic about the outcome of the closed consulta-
tions. There is every indication that these are issues that will
not be resolved easily. It is a question of how dedicated the
governments  are to reaching an agreement and it is also
doubtful if the final convention will be one to which the
conservation community  should give its full support.

   On 5 December  1976, France signed the Bonn Convention
concerning pollution of the Rhine by chloride. France gave
an undertaking at that time that the salt load, caused mainly
by heavy potassium mining in Alsace would be reduced by
20 kilos per second by mid-1 978 and to a total of 60 kilos
per second by 1 January 1980 and indicated that it would
take action before ratiflying. In order to ensure that quick
action could be taken, the other signatories fulfilled their
obligations and paid their contributions before the treaty
came  into force. The sum paid for this clean-up amounted
to a total of 132 million FF.
   A start was made by France, but no-one knows if the
measures have been continued or how the money  has been
used. It is difficult for those not in the country to judge


what  has, if anything, been done to fulfil the original under-
taking. Only one  thing appears to be certain, and that is
that the money, irrespective of how it has been applied, is
gone.  The treaty foresaw soil injection for the salt. The
industry lobby said that soil injection was unacceptable,
and  this has been the big stumbling block to any further
action.

   Several members of the Netherlands parliament lobbyied
in front of the French National Assembly when this question
was being debated (for report of debate see page 40). It
was certainly not very wise of them to take an action which
could be guaranteed to make the French even more stubborn
in this question. It is apparent that nothing will be heard
or achieved with regard to ratification until after the elections
for the European Parliament have held. The French govern-
ment  has continously stressed that it would tackle the prob-
lem vigorously after this event and one can only hope that
France will then fulfil its promise to act.


   A document  entitled Contribution of the Czechoslovak
Socialist Republic to the topic of the Protection of Natural
Flora and Fauna and their Habitat which will be submitted
to the 7th Session of the ECE Senior Advisers to governments
on environmental  questions, has reached us too late for
inclusion in this issue (see page 2). This document, sub-
mitted by the Czechoslovakian government, contains both a
declaration  and a plan of action for the high-level con-
ference proposed for the Autumn. At first sight its intentions
are laudable. It seems, however, to forget that many Euro-
pean governments and several international organizations are
already working toward the goals of establishing networks of
areas the purpose of which, or if not the purpose, the exis-
tence of which, is geared to ecological stabilization .
Many  more  negotiations may be necessary to put these
items in a form acceptable to the governments of ECE.

   We  shall report on the forthcoming discussions in the
next issue.


LETTERS
TO THE EDITOR


Dear Sir,
   The  section in your most recent
editorial concerning Southern Ocean
negotiations was of particular interest
to me  since I have been personally in-
volved in those discussions. Based on
my  experiences, I have to admit that I
Environmental Policy and L aw, 5 (1979)


am  in complete agreement with your
statement  that the secrecy which
presently surrounds the treaty is un-
warranted.  Since any  treaty which
emerges will have a global impact, it
would  appear that the need for public
disclosure is greater, not less, than in
many  other settings. The utilization of
the living resources in the Southern
Ocean  certainly cannot be considered
the exclusive province of the negotiating
parties; it is therefore difficult to com-
prehend why  the benefits generally at-
tributable to public disclosure are being
purposely withheld in this case.


   Enclosed you will find a copy of the
most recent Southern Ocean draft text.
It is my sincere hope that you will see
fit to publish it so that concerned
parties everywhere may have the oppor-
tunity to examine and comment   upon
the important matters which until now
have been within the exclusive domain
of a few.
   I realize that providing this docu-
ment is a somewhat unorthodox  action,
but I strongly believe that it is one that
is fully justified.

          (name withheld upon request)
                                     1


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