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Workshop on Environmental Damage Vigo, 11-13 July 2005. National and Regional Rules versus International System for Damage Assessment. Michel Girin, Cedre, France. A FAR FROM EQUAL WORLD. Countries have highly different approaches to catastrophe management
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Vigo, 11-13 July 2005National and Regional RulesversusInternational System for Damage Assessment
Michel Girin, Cedre, France
Countries have highly different approaches to catastrophe management
Members of a regional group have a closer approach
A forest fire, a flood, an earthquake, a tsunami
There is no liable party
There may be damages to life, property, economy, the environment
Human life, property and economic losses : declaration of natural catastrophe siuation opens access to a “unlimited” national natural fund financed by a levy on private insurance (home, etc.)
Environment : taken care of by State budget
See Dec 1999 storm in France
No national natural catastrophe fund
State budget can do little
Aid is sought or accepted from the International Community
See recent Tsunami in Asia
National, company controlled nationally (ex : Toulouse)
National, company under foreign control (ex : Aznalcollar, Bhopal)
Transboundary, private or public (ex : Baia Mare, Chernobyl)
Rupture of storage tank, Baia Mare Gold Mine, Rumania, 2000
100 000 m3 of waste mud in Danube (cyanid, heavy metals…), three countries impacted (Rumania, Serbia, Hungary)
Company under Canadian control, Impacted countries future EU entrants
EU aid + procedures against local company in Rumania and mother company in Canada
Ships sail worldwide
Odds are that pollution will most probably come from a foreign ship
legally transboundary, if not physically transboundary
Shipowners, charterers : looking for worlwide common treatment
Affected countries : looking for an acceptable compensation without the delays and costs of suing the responsible party in its country
A worldwide system
Without it, economic operators in poor countries would hardly get any compensation
Impact studies would not be made
Restoration actions would not be implemented
It moves at the speed of its slower members
Why a limit ?
Why no emergency decisions ?
Keeping out of the system : the US approach (OPA)
Lobbying for future changes in the system and making with the existing : the EU approach (the 3rd level Fund and...)
State will step back until all other victims have received compensation
Economic operators : no interest loans repayable after reception of compensation
Repayment of expenses of public bodies
Compensation of damages of economic operators
Governments pay/advance on their own standards, with public money
What standards ?
They turn later to the International compensation system for repayment
What about their part of responsibility ?
Should come to the same objective conclusion (the Truth)
Generate some divergence in conclusions (aspects of the Truth)
Experience : undeniable (UK)
EU support : clear (F, D)
Involvement of International compensation system : not sought (money lacking) but not refused
Going ahead regionally
building our own rules
not against the International compensation system
but accepting that our rules may exceed its aceptability standards