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Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): Overview

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): Overview"— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): Overview
Session Objectives: Explain what EIA is about Discuss the EIA process

2 Agenda EIA & its evolution EIA principles EIA process Benefits of EIA

3 What is EIA? US EPA National Environmental Policy Act
(proclaimed in 1970) called for: public statement of environmentally significant consequences of all federal actions public input into project formulation informed decision-making This process became known as EIA

4 Purposes of EIA modify and improve design
ensure efficient resource use enhance social aspects identify measures for monitoring & managing impacts inform decision-making provide justification for a proposal

5 Various Aspects of Environmental Impacts
type and nature magnitude extent timing duration uncertainty reversibility significance

6 Integration within EIA
The process of EIA has moved towards the consideration of all effects arising from a proposal. These can include: biophysical social health economic risk and uncertainty

7 Evolution of EIA Early 1970s - initial development
1970s to 1980s - trend to integration Mid to late 1980s - cumulative effects and policy integration Mid 1990s - towards sustainability (SEA- strategic environmental assessment, biodiversity)

8 EIA Developments in the 1990s:
Major reforms to well established systems Implementation of EC Directive (1985) World Bank and other agencies introduce policies Convention on EIA in a Transboundary Context (1991) Conventions on Climate Change and Biological Diversity

9 EIA-Three Core Values Sustainability - the EIA process will result in environmental safeguards Integrity - the EIA process will conform to agreed standards Utility - the EIA process will provide balanced, credible information for decision-making Sadler, 1996

10 EIA - Eight Guiding Principles
Participation Transparency Certainty Accountability Sadler, 1996 Credibility Cost-effectiveness Flexibility Practicality

11 EIA Operating Principles I EIA should be applied:
to all development project activities likely to cause potentially significant adverse impacts or add to actual or potentially foreseeable cumulative effects as a primary instrument for environmental management to ensure that impacts of development are minimized, avoided or rehabilitated Sadler, 1996 so that the scope of review is consistent with the nature of the project or activity & commensurate with the likely issues & impacts on the basis of well defined roles, rules and responsibilities for key actors

12 EIA Operating Principles II EIA should be undertaken:
throughout project cycle, beginning as early as possible in the concept design phase with clear reference to the requirements for project authorization & follow-up, including impact management Sadler, 1996 consistent with the application of 'best practicable' science & mitigation technology in accordance with established procedures & project-specific terms of reference, including agreed timelines to provide meaningful public consultation with communities, groups & parties directly affected by, or with an interest in, the project and/or its environmental impacts

13 EIA Operating Principles III EIA should address, wherever necessary or appropriate:
All related & relevant factors, including social and health risks & impacts Cumulative and long-term, large-scale effects Design, locational and technological alternatives to the proposal being assessed Sustainability considerations including resource productivity, assimilative capacity and biological diversity Sadler, 1996

14 EIA Operating Principles IV EIA should result in:
Accurate & appropriate info as to the nature, likely magnitude & significance of potential effects, risks & consequences of a proposed undertaking & its alternatives Preparation of an impact statement or report that presents this info in a clear, understandable & relevant form for decision-making, including reference to qualifications, & confidence limits in the predictions made Ongoing problem solving and conflict resolution to the extent possible during the application of the process Sadler, 1996

15 EIA Operating Principles V EIA should provide the basis for:
Environmentally sound decision-making in which terms & conditions are clearly specified and enforced Design, planning and construction of acceptable development projects that meet environmental standards and resource management objectives An appropriate follow-up process with requirements for monitoring, management, audit & evaluation that are based on the significance of potential effects, the uncertainty associated with prediction & mitigation, & the opportunity for making future improvements in project design or process application Sadler, 1996

16 The EIA Process Screening Scoping Assessing Mitigating Reporting
Reviewing Decision-making Monitoring & managing Public involvement


18 EIA Costs for Multipurpose Projects
in Thailand

19 Delays are caused during EIA when:
EIA is commenced too late in the project cycle TORs are poorly drafted EIA is not managed to a schedule EIA report is inadequate and needs to be upgraded Lack of technical data

20 Benefits of EIA include:
more environmentally sustainable design better compliance with standards savings in capital and operating costs reduced time and costs for approvals avoids later plant adaptations reduced health costs increased project acceptance

21 Ensuring Fairness in the EIA Process
register consultants' names and terms of reference name consultants and their expertise in the EIA report publish the terms of reference in the EIA report make EIA reports available to the public publish lists of screening and final decisions along with conditions for approval

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