The Espoo (EIA) Convention sets out the obligations of Parties to assess the environmental impact of certain activities at an early stage of planning. It also lays down the general obligation of States to notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across boundaries. (see some examples).The Convention was adopted in 1991 and entered into force on 10 September 1997 (see which countries are Parties to the Convention). Read more about the history of the Convention »
The sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention took place in Geneva in June 2014.
The text of the Convention:
Other formal translations by the United Nations
Text (as reissued in 2017)
First amendment to the Convention was adopted in 2001. It entered into force on 26 August 2014 (see status). It has thus opened the Convention to accession by UN Member States that are not members of the UNECE
Second amendment to the Convention was adopted in 2004. It entered into force on 23 October 2017. The second amendment
- Allows, as appropriate, affected Parties to participate in scoping
- Requires reviews of compliance
- Revises the Appendix I (list of activities)
- Makes other minor changes
The Espoo Convention and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992)
- Principle 17: Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority.
- Principle 19: States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant information to potentially affected States on activities that may have a significant adverse transboundary environmental effect and shall consult with those States at an early stage and in good faith.