Ugyen Tshewang (PHD), Secretary, National Environment Commission Secretariat, RGOB, Thimphu Tshering Choden, (BSc, Sci), Asstt. Environment Officer, National Environment Commission Secretariat, RGOB, Thimphu 2 nd South Asia Judicial Roundtable on Environmental Justice, 30-31 August 2013, Thimphu, Bhutan
Outline of the Presentation Environmental Conservation Ethics of Bhutan Environmental Policies and Legislation governing EIA EIA and sustainable Development Institutional Arrangement Judicial Proceedings Implementation of EIA and its assurance Projects requiring EIA EIA Procedure Defaulters and offenders\ Challenges Recommendations
Environmental Conservation Ethics of Bhutan Traditional and Local Beliefs Royal Kasho in 1974 by the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Forest Act and National Forest Policy Subsequent Acts and Regulations
Environmental Legislations National Environment Protection Act 2007 Environment Assessment Act 2000 & Regulations for Environment Clearance of Projects 2002 (under revision) Water Act 2011 @ Water Regulation (Final Draft) Waste Prevention and Management Act 2009 & Regulation 2012 Biodiversity Act 2003 The Middle Path- National Environment Strategy 1998 Mines and Mineral Act 1995 Forest & Nature Conservation Act 1995 & Regulation 2006 Carbon Neutral Policy (2009)
EIA and Sustainable Development Sustainable Management and development determine Environmental well being and security of livelihood. Population pressure, industrialization, urbanization, adverse impacts of climate change, and the indiscriminate exploitation and use of resource base EA - one of the tools.
EIA and Sustainable Development EIA – technique for ensuring that the likely significant effects of new development on the environment is fully understood and taken into account for decision making regarding projects, developments and programs. An anticipatory environmental management tool for the systematic evaluation of a proposal and its effects on the environment and for mitigating those effects.
EIA and Sustainable Development Projects are unsustainable if financially expensive, environmentally invasive and socially intrusive. EIA is one of the supporting tools to achieve Gross National Happiness (GNH)
Institutional Arrangement NEC National Environment Commission Secretariat Environment Assessment Technical Committee Environment Assessment Advisory Board Competent Authorities Line Ministries and Agencies /Environment Unit District Administration District Environment Committee
Institutional arrangement NEC –Chaired by the PM, Ministers, NGOs and Eminent Persons. Adopt Regulations; environmental standards; enforce and implement policies, plans and program, Interim Amendments for Conflicting provisions of the sectoral legislation till next session of the Parliament, Designate Competent authorities to carry out its function
Judicial proceedings NEC deemed to be civil court and proceedings before the Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding when the Commission decides to hear cases before it. Commission may decide to establish environmental tribunal and communicate their decision to the Government and Chief Justice for its Constitution
Environment Assessment Process Application accepted if information is adequate for screening and EA as per the guidelines. Projects are screened and may issue EC if information provided is sufficient to identify the potential environmental effects of the project and conditions of Regulation – verified through field visits. If the secretariat is not satisfied with the information, TOR – to prepare environment assessment document.
EIA Procedures Screening Promoter to submit draft terms of reference for carrying out environmental impact assessment Scoping Endorsement of terms of reference by the NECS Environmental impact assessment report must be compiled based on endorsed terms of reference and submit to the secretariat. The Secretariat may ask the Promoter to present the environmental impact assessment report to the committee. If the EAAB finds that the information is still inadequate, the promoter is then required to make necessary changes to the EIA document and submit necessary justifications accordingly.
Application Guidelines for Environmental Clearance Highways and Roads. Industrial Projects. Mines. Forestry. Transmission Lines. Hydropower. Urban Development. Tourism Activities.
Projects Requiring EIA Hydropower. Projects within Protected Areas/other areas of national significance. Mines and Quarries. Mega Projects (including high tension transmission lines, Education Cities, Urban Development, Industrial Estate, National Highways)
Defaulters and Offenders Article 42 of EA Act, 2000 Section 45 of Regulation, 2002 on Fine Schedule
Challenges EIA not as per the ToR and Originality of EIA report. Provisions of Acts and Regulations Climate Change Resources - Financial, Technical and Manpower. Stakeholders’ participation and professional ethics.
Recommendations Carrying Capacity of the Country’s Ecosystem Strategic Environment Assessment instead of pocket EIAs. Effective Regulations and Laws Harmonization of Regional laws and Regulations - Trans- Boundary Impacts Regional co-operation and integration Capacity Building Technical Experts, private, manpower and other. Amendment of EA Act and its Regulation. Revise Sectoral Guidelines. Environmental Justice – Polluter Pays Principle at all levels – Judiciary