Decision ID: 000021

In October 1997 the 1971 Fund Executive Committee noted that in a letter to the Attorney General, the Venezuelan Ministry of Environment & Renewable Natural Resources had provided details of a claim totalling £37 million against the shipowner and his insurer, which had been presented to the Criminal Court of Cabimas. It was noted that the claim related to damage to intertidal communities of clams, costs of restoring the quality of water, replacing sand removed during clean-up and damage to the beach as a tourist resort. The Committee noted that the Director had not been able to make a detailed examination of the various claim items, but it appeared that the items relating to damage to clams and tourist beaches had been calculated on the basis of theoretical models and were therefore inadmissible for compensation. As regards the items relating to restoring the quality of water and replacing beach sand, which might relate to reinstatement measures, the Committee noted the Director’s view that it had to be considered whether they fulfilled the Fund’s admissibility criteria. The Committee agreed with the Director’s analysis and emphasised the importance of the Fund’s adherence to the principles of admissibility in respect of claims for damage to the environment per se and claims relating to measures of reinstatement. The Committee stated that the Director should make further efforts to explain these principles to Member States.

Date: 30.09.1997
Category: Environmental damage
Subject: Claims based on abstract quantification of damage