Presentation on theme: "MODULE 1: Introduction to Environmental Assessment"— Presentation transcript:
1MODULE 1: Introduction to Environmental Assessment
2WHY MODULE 1To conduct a successful Integrated Environmental Assessment and reporting (IEA), it is very important to understand the different types of assessments and how they differ or relate to IEA.This module discusses the different assessments and sets the overall context of IEA.
3OBJECTIVES OF THE MODULE To highlight the different types of environmental assessment and the evolution of IEA.To give the background to IEA and how it informs decision making.To provide an overview of the different approaches for the different assessments.To identify some opportunities for synergy among the different assessment approaches.
4The different types of Environmental Assessments State of the Environment (SOE)Integrated Environmental Assessment and Reporting (IEA)Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)Corporate Environmental Assessment and Reporting
5State of the Environment (SOE) Main focus is on the biophysical aspect of the environmentUsually undertaken by a government agency in fulfillment of a statutory requirementTypically has no outlook componentProvides the basis for IEA
6Traditional SOE Reports Early environmental assessment reports focussed on reporting the SOE as it existed at the time of reporting. These are now referred to as “traditional SOE Reports”Traditional SOE Reports have been useful:in pointing out existing environmental trends and conditions.in providing key leverage points to decision-makers.in giving us an inventory of resources which can be used as a starting point for planning sustainable development.
7Traditional SOE Reports (cont’d) Are, however, weak in many areas:They are narrative syntheses of the state of the environment, not analyses intended to plan sustainable developmentAre not integrated with the assessment of key driving forces and policies that cause or influence the environmental trends that have been identified.Are not analytically linked to the potential future outcomes of the current state of the environmentTo overcome these, SOE must be transformed into IEA with backward and forward linkages to what is continuously happening to the environment.
8The evolution of IEA Need for broad-based assessment If we are to respond to interconnected issues. we require:Realistic assessment and reporting practices that communicate problems and solutions to decision-makers and the public.A broader assessment and reporting process that takes into account the links among ecological, socioeconomic and policy issues more systematically.
9INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING (IEA) Integrated Environmental Assessment and reporting (EA) is a process of producing and communicating policy-relevant information on key interactions between the natural environment and human society.
10IEAIntegrates social, economic and environmental issues in the analysisStrives to show cause-effect linkages of human and natural action on the environment and the implications on livelihoods
11IEA needs to incorporate policy assessment for the whole system The intentional or unintentional consequences of policies are often dispersed over space, sectors of the economy or environmental media.The effects of policy are delayed in time.The consequences of policies can be incremental and cumulative, they may also represent root causes of environmental problems.Human well-being and vulnerability are affected by the system as a whole and the policies used to manage it.
12IEA: Human well-beingHuman and natural driving forces and pressures are impacting the environment
13IEA: Human well-being and vulnerability Environmental services and human well-being affected, widening gap between the haves and have-nots, and increasing vulnerability for the latter.
14IEA: Human… (cont’d)Achieving human well-being is a balancing act.
15IEA multidimensional and incorporates other elements not in the traditional SOE reporting Environmental media (state-and-trends of land, water, atmosphere and biodiversity)Functional (provision of environmental goods-and-services)Resource sectors (e.g. links with energy use, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, mining and trade)
16IEA multidimensional… (cont’d) Crosscutting issues (relating to production, consumption, gender, poverty, human wellbeing and vulnerability)Environmental issues (land degradation, air and water pollution, disasters, overexploitation of resources)Interlinkages within and between all of the abovePolicy responses and analyses
17IEA links environmental state-and-trends with policy responses integrates environmental analysis with social and economic trends and policiesincorporates global and sub-global perspectivesincorporates historical and future perspectivesinvolves diverse environment-socioeconomic expertise
18IEAIEA answers five consecutive questions in sequence, as shown below, from which we can get information to relate socioeconomic activities, environment and policy
19Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) A tool used to determine the social, economic, and environmental impact of major developments, and proposes measures to mitigate impacts.Is project and site specificIn the context of IEA, it is a policy responseDemands for public participation
20Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Deals with the effects of a proposed strategic action (policy, programme and plan) and identifies best practicable environmental optionA decision-support toolHelps to incorporate sustainability principals in policy making processProvides a context for assessing cumulative effects of different projects or initiativesProvides context for screening projects for EIA (fully fledged EIA or Reviews)In the IEA context, SEA are policy responses.
21Corporate environmental assessment and reporting Management support tool (ISO certification)Response to statutory obligation or corporate social responsibilityIn the context of IEA, it is both an action and policy response