INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY IN INTERNATIONAL ROAD CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS

ИНТЕГРАЦИЯ ЭКОЛОГИЧЕСКОЙ И СОЦИАЛЬНОЙ УСТОЙЧИВОСТИ В МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫХ КОНТРАКТАХ НА СТРОИТЕЛЬСТВО ДОРОГ
Erniyazov I.
Цитировать:
Erniyazov I. INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY IN INTERNATIONAL ROAD CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS // Universum: экономика и юриспруденция : электрон. научн. журн. 2023. 9-10(108). URL: https://7universum.com/ru/economy/archive/item/15942 (дата обращения: 17.06.2024).
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DOI - 10.32743/UniLaw.2023.108.9-10.15942

 

ABSTRACT

This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the integration of environmental and social standards, safeguards and governance frameworks in complex cross-border road construction contracts and partnerships spanning multiple countries and ecosystems. The author conducts a systematic review of sustainability regulations, contract conditions, reporting procedures, case law, auditing mechanisms and industry practices to evaluate the efficacy of existing contractual structures in managing ecological and community risks and impacts. The study reveals significant limitations and implementation gaps in aligning project-level contracts with evolving sustainability policy imperatives. Accordingly, tailored recommendations are presented to advance sustainability mainstreaming in legal and contracting regimes for global road projects through regulatory reforms, innovative contractual models, multi-stakeholder collaboration, technological harnessing and capacity building.

АННОТАЦИЯ

В данной статье представлен всесторонний анализ интеграции экологических и социальных стандартов, механизмов защиты и управления в сложные трансграничные контракты на строительство дорог и партнерства, охватывающие множество стран и экосистем. Автор проводит систематический обзор правил устойчивого развития, условий контрактов, процедур отчетности, прецедентного права, механизмов аудита и отраслевой практики для оценки эффективности существующих контрактных структур в управлении экологическими и общественными рисками и воздействиями. Исследование выявляет существенные ограничения и пробелы в реализации приведения контрактов на уровне проекта в соответствие с меняющимися императивами политики устойчивого развития. Соответственно, представлены индивидуальные рекомендации по продвижению внедрения устойчивого развития в правовые и контрактные режимы глобальных дорожных проектов посредством реформ регулирования, инновационных контрактных моделей, сотрудничества с участием многих заинтересованных сторон, внедрения технологий и наращивания потенциала.

 

Keywords: environmental and social standards, contract conditions, reporting procedures, contracting regimes, global road projects.

Ключевые слова: экологические и социальные стандарты, условия контрактов, процедуры отчетности, режимы контрактов, глобальные дорожные проекты.

 

As large-scale international road construction initiatives encompassing financing, companies and governments across continents increase, ensuring these transnational projects fully address environmental and social externalities becomes imperative. Road infrastructure traversing ecological and demographic diversity presents complex sustainability policy challenges for reconciling transport connectivity objectives with ecological preservation and community rights. Consequently, sustainability standards and safeguards are being integrated into legal frameworks, financing policies, tender documents, contracts and construction practices for cross-border highway projects.

In the article a detailed examination of how environmental and social considerations are incorporated into the complex public-private partnership contracts, agreements and institutional mechanisms underpinning contemporary international road development spanning multiple countries and legal systems. It evaluates the spectrum of sustainability risk assessment processes, performance standards, monitoring procedures, reporting structures, dispute resolution mechanisms and regulatory alignment approaches currently hardwired into the legal architecture of international road projects through comparative analysis of statutes, regulations, contracts, audits, cases and expert commentaries.

The study aims to identify limitations, implementation gaps and promising innovations in mainstreaming sustainability through contractual models and administration systems tailored for global road infrastructure projects crossing diverse ecological and social landscapes. It provides pragmatic recommendations for optimizing the legal frameworks regulating environmental and social governance of international road construction to balance connectivity and sustainability imperatives.

To a large extent provides theoretical analyses and empirical evaluations of the integration of environmental and social standards, regulations, assessment processes and safeguards in diverse international development sectors including extractives, energy, manufacturing and infrastructure [11]. Research examines the formulation and efficacy of tools like environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs), management plans, auditing mechanisms, monitoring systems and capability building in ensuring sustainability compliance in global projects [3, p.191; 8, p.150].

Studies reveal limitations and implementation gaps between regulatory frameworks and on-ground practices related to social and environmental performance management across regions, underscoring capacity and regulatory disparity challenges for global projects [12, p.179; 13, p.337]. Commentators advocate transitioning from reactive impact mitigation models to sustainability-centered approaches proactively aligning projects with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through integrating sustainability criteria across legal frameworks, financing policies and contracts [6].

Analyses of the construction industry focus on incorporating environmental clauses in contracts [14, p.601], exploring tensions between commercial and sustainability objectives [7, p.8], and analysing project governance innovations like green procurement certification schemes [10, p.1358]. However, research on sustainability mainstreaming through legal frameworks calibrated for complex international road projects remains limited and an opportunity exists for bridging scholarly knowledge gaps through comprehensive and contextualized examination.

In the article a composite analytical framework incorporating doctrinal analysis of legal instruments including environmental and social regulations, standards, contract templates, audit protocols, and case law across multiple jurisdictions. This doctrinal research is complemented by integration of sustainability reporting metrics, auditing data and industry perspectives to evaluate real-world efficacy of legal structures in addressing ecological and community risks in global road projects.

The cross-disciplinary methodology combining legal analysis with empirical evidence enables a systematic and holistic examination of limitations as well as potential innovations in transforming mainstream contracting models into instruments for proactively advancing environmental and social sustainability in international road infrastructure development across diverse regulatory environments.

International road construction initiatives involving multiple nations and traversing diverse ecological and demographic landscapes require contractual frameworks effectively integrating environmental and social impact management alongside cost, time and quality considerations. As technical complexity, number of institutional actors and sustainability stakes increase in cross-border projects, specialized approaches combining standardized and bespoke elements become necessary.

Environmental aspects are incorporated into road contracts through compliance conditions like conducting ESIAs, formulating habitat conservation strategies, obtaining permits, restricting activities in protected areas, avoiding pollution and deforestation, managing hazardous materials, restoring sites and monitoring ecological indicators based on regulations and financier safeguard policies. Social dimensions address resettlement, indigenous community impacts, labor conditions, cultural heritage protection and local stakeholder participation grounded in instruments like the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

For example, a regional Asia-Africa highway project funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank mandates contractors to follow robust environmental management planning adhering to international best practices across diverse national jurisdictions traversed, besides providing access roads and vocational training for affected communities [2]. The Habitat Regulations Assessment conducted across 600kms for a coastal highway in the UK evaluated route alternatives to minimize ecological risks [4].

However, limitations exist in synchronizing varied national sustainability regimes. A cross-Africa highway faced challenges coordinating ESIA processes between South African and Mozambican systems [9, p.759]. Contract oversight capabilities also impede compliance - an audit of an Asian road project revealed delays in completing resettlement facilities and payment of rehabilitation allowances for displaced households stipulated in agreements [1]. Enforcement gaps thus exist despite increasing sustainability mandates in cross-border road contract conditions.

Advancing sustainability-centered legal frameworks for global road infrastructure requires transitioning from reactive environmental and social impact mitigation approaches to proactively aligning projects with ecological stewardship and community development goals. This entails integrating sustainability criteria across policy, planning, engineering, procurement, monitoring, adaption and grievance redressal processes over the project lifecycle through legal reform, innovations like green public procurement frameworks, multi-stakeholder collaboration and technology harnessing [6; 10].

This study indicates that while sustainability standards are progressing in international road construction contracting, significant limitations persist in harmonizing varied legal regimes, building oversight capabilities and moving toward ecological and community integrity-centered development models across diverse countries and ecosystems. Mainstreaming sustainability through reforms in legal structures, collaborations between financiers, companies and communities, as well as harnessing innovation and technology will be vital for optimizing environmental and social outcomes in international road infrastructure.

 

References:

  1. ADB, 2015. Completion Report - Shanxi Anji Expressway Project in China. [pdf] Manila: ADB. Available at: https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/project-document/176621/43066-014-pcr.pdf [Accessed 28 Feb. 2023].
  2. AIIB, 2020. India: Andhra Pradesh Rural Roads Project - Environmental and Social Management Planning Framework. [pdf] Beijing: AIIB. Available at: https://www.aiib.org/en/projects/details/2020/approved/India-Andhra-Pradesh-Rural-Roads.pdf [Accessed 28 Feb. 2023].
  3. Glasson, J., & Salvador, N. N. B. (2000). EIA in Brazil: a procedures–practice gap. Environmental impact assessment Review, 20(2), рр.191-225.
  4. Highways England, 2019. A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross: TR010026 - Volume 6, Document 6.14 Habitats Regulations Assessment. [pdf] London: Highways England. Available at: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR010026/TR010026-000614-6.14%20Habitats%20Regulations%20Assessment.pdf [Accessed Feb 28, 2023].
  5. Leal Filho, W., et al., 2018. Reinvigorating the sustainable development research agenda: the role of the sustainable development goals (SDG). International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 25(2), pp.131-142.
  6. Mills, A., Durepos, G., & Wiebe, E. (Eds.). (2019). Encyclopedia of Case Study Research (Vols. 1-0). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  7. Mulholland, K.A. and Christian, J.R., 1999. Risk assessment in construction schedules. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 125(1), pp.8-15.
  8. Ngene, S., Van Gils, M., Nahimana, C., Van Puijenbroek, P. and Van Wijck, P., 2017. Implementation of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in Rwanda: trends, challenges and way forward. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 35(2), pp.150-161.
  9. Nhamo, G., Mjimba, V., Rwasinini, M., & Mvuma, G. (2020). Macroeconomic implications of infrastructure projects: the case of the North–South Corridor project in southern Africa. Development Southern Africa, 37(5), рр.759-773.
  10. Qi, G. Y., Shen, L. Y., Zeng, S. X., & Jorge, O. J. (2010). The drivers for contractors’ green innovation: an industry perspective. Journal of Cleaner production, 18(14), рр.1358-1365.
  11. Simons, P., & Macklin, A. (2014). The Governance Gap: Extractive Industries, Human Rights, and the Home State Advantage. Routledge. By Penelope Simons and Audrey Macklin. Oxford: Routledge, 2014. 422 pages.
  12. Suhardiman, D., Smith-Hall, C., & Meijerink, S. V. (2021). Multilevel and multiactor governance in large infrastructure projects: Dealing with resistance against the Bogowonto dam, Indonesia. Environmental Science & Policy, 124, рр.179-189.
  13. Zhang, S., Andrews-Speed, P., & Zhao, X. (2015). Political and institutional analysis of the successes and failures of China's wind power policy. Energy Policy, 85, рр.337-346.
  14. Zou, P. X., Zhang, G., & Wang, J. (2007). Understanding the key risks in construction projects in China. International Journal of Project Management, 25(6), рр.601-614.
Информация об авторах

PhD researcher at Tashkent State University of Law, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

соискатель на научную степень PhD в Ташкентском государственном юридическом университете, Узбекистан, г. Ташкент

Журнал зарегистрирован Федеральной службой по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций (Роскомнадзор), регистрационный номер ЭЛ №ФС77-54432 от 17.06.2013
Учредитель журнала - ООО «МЦНО»
Главный редактор - Толстолесова Людмила Анатольевна.
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