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INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT Dr.Wesam Al Madhoun

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INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT Dr.Wesam Al Madhoun EIA EIA is a systematic process to identify, predict and evaluate the environmental effects of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT Dr.Wesam Al Madhoun


1
INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
ASSESSMENT Dr.Wesam Al Madhoun
2
EIA
  • EIA is a systematic process to identify, predict
    and evaluate the environmental effects of
    proposed actions and projects.
  • A broad definition of environment is adopted.
    Whenever appropriate social, cultural and health
    effects are also considered as an integral part
    of EIA.
  • Particular attention is given in EIA for
    preventing, mitigating and offsetting the
    significant adverse effects of proposed
    undertakings

3
Definition
  • It is a planning and management tool for
    sustainable development that seeks to identify
    the type, magnitude and probability of
    environmental and social changes likely to occur
    as direct or indirect result of a project or
    policy and to design the possible mitigation
    procedure.

4
EIA is a tool that is applied
  • Before major decisions are taken and when all
    alternatives are still open
  • To inform all stages of decision making,
    including final approval and the establishment of
    conditions for project implementation
  • With public participation and consultation and
    to integrate environmental considerations into
    all phases of project design, construction and
    operation

5
History
  • The National Environmental Policy Act 1969 of USA
    is the legislative basis for EIA.
  • The policy was the result of wide spread
    recognition in the 1960s that some major
    environmental problems were created by the
    governments projects (power stations, dams and
    reservoirs, industrial complexes).
  • The legislation made mandatory to assess the
    environmental consequences of all projects by
    federal agencies.

6
  • In 1990s, many developed and some developing
    countries designed their EIA legislation. e.g.
    New Zealand (1991), Canada (1995), Australia
    (1999), Vietnam (1993), Uganda(1994), Ecuador
    (1997).
  • Today, EIA is firmly established in planning
    process in many of these countries.

7
International Obligations
KEY Instruments/events Requirements/Outcome
EIA requirements and procedures applied by international financial and aid agencies Providing loans and implementing projects in developing countries.
Amendment of EC Directive on EIA (1997) Required all member states to be in compliance by 1999 also assisted in drafting the EIA laws of transitional economies who are in the process of accession to the European Union.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe(UNECE) - Convention on EIA in a Trans-boundary Context (1991) Entered into force in 1997 as the first EIA-specific international treaty.
8
Aims and Objectives
  • The immediate aim of EIA is to inform the
    process of decision-making by identifying the
    potentially significant environmental effects and
    risks of development proposals.
  • Objectives related to this aim are to
  • improve the environmental design of the proposal
  • ensure that resources are used appropriately and
    efficiently
  • identify appropriate measures for mitigating the
    potential impacts of the proposal and
  • facilitate informed decision making, including
    setting the environmental terms and conditions
    for implementing the proposal.

9
Aims and Objectives (cont.)
  • The ultimate (long term) aim of EIA is to
    promote sustainable development by ensuring that
    development proposals do not undermine critical
    resource and ecological functions or the well
    being, lifestyle and livelihood of the
    communities and peoples who depend on them.
  • Objectives related to this aim are to
  • protect human health and safety
  • avoid irreversible changes and serious damage to
    the environment
  • safeguard valued resources, natural areas and
    ecosystem components and 
  • enhance the social aspects of the proposal.

10
Regions Major Environmental Issues
Africa The continent has the worlds poorest and most resource dependent population. It carries the highest health burden due to severe environmental problems. These include desertification and soil degradation, declining food security, and increasing water scarcity.
Asia and Pacific Rapid economic growth, urbanization and industrialization have helped in poverty alleviation but also increased pressure on land and water resources, widespread environmental degradation and high pollution levels. Mega- cities are a particular focus of environmental and health concerns.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia Despite progress with economic restructuring and environmental clean up, there is a legacy of industrial pollution and contaminated land during communist era. In many areas, emissions of particulates, SO2, lead, heavy metals and toxic chemicals continue to expose the residents to health risks, and, in the Balkans, war and regional conflict have exacted a heavy environmental and social toll.
Latin America and the Caribbean Approximately three-quarters of the population live in urban areas. Many cities are poor, overcrowded, polluted and lack basic infrastructure. The major environmental issue is the destruction of tropical forests and consequent loss of biodiversity, which is especially serious in the Amazon basin.
11
Why is EIA Needed?
  • The natural environment is the foundation of the
    world economy and our social well-being
  • Past development practices have severely degraded
    the natural environment and wasted scarce
    resources
  • Increasing development pressures (e.g.,
    industrialization, urbanization, and resource
    use) will inevitably accelerate environmental
    degradation unless sustainable environmental
    management practices are adopted

12
Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable development is development that
    meets the needs of the present without
    compromising the ability of future generations to
    meet their own needs.

13
Evolution of EIA
  • Pre-1970s Introduction of some pollution
    control regulations
  • Early 1970s Initial EIA development, focus on
    the biophysical environment (e.g., air, water,
    flora, fauna, climate)
  • 1970 US NEPA called for
  • Environmental review of all government actions
  • Public input into project formulation
  • Informed decision making
  • This process became known as EIA

14
Evolution of EIA (Contd)
  • 1970s to 1980s Expanded scope for EIA beyond
    just biophysical to include integrated assessment
    of social, health, and economic issues
  • Mid to late 1980s Cumulative effects
    increasingly examined in support of policy and
    planning
  • Mid 1990s Towards sustainability (e.g.,
    strategic environmental assessment, biodiversity)

15
Evolution of EIA (Contd)
  • Over the last 30 years the EIA process has become
    increasingly more holistic assessments have
    broadened to consider all aspects of proposed
    projects and activities
  • Assessments routinely examine
  • Biophysical Social
  • Health Economic
  • Risk and uncertainty

16
Types of EIA
  • Project-level EIA narrow-perspective examine
    potential environmental impacts of a single
    project or activity
  • Cumulative effects assessment (CEA) broadens
    assessment to examine potential impacts of
    multiple projects from the viewpoint of valued
    environmental components (VECs)
  • Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) widest
    focus involving systematic evaluation of
    potential impacts of policies, plans and programs
    (PPP)

17
EIA Core Values
  • Sustainability The EIA process will provide
    necessary environmental safeguards
  • Integrity The EIA process will conform with
    established standards underlying science is
    credible and decisions are justified
  • Utility The EIA process will provide balanced,
    accurate information for decision making

18
EIA Guiding Principles
  • Participation Appropriate and timely access by
    all interested parties
  • Transparency All decisions should be open and
    accessible
  • Certainty Process and timing agreed in advance
    and followed by all
  • Accountability Decision makers and project
    proponents are responsible for their actions

19
EIA Guiding Principles (Contd)
  • Credibility Assessments are professional and
    objective
  • Cost-effectiveness Environmental protection is
    achieved at the least cost
  • Flexibility Process is adaptive and responsive
  • Practicality Information and outputs are usable
    in decision making and planning

20
EIA Operational Principles
  • EIA should be applied to
  • all development projects and activities likely to
    cause significant adverse impacts or potential
    cumulative effects
  • EIA should be undertaken
  • throughout the project cycle, beginning as early
    as possible
  • in accordance with established procedures
  • to provide meaningful public consultation

21
EIA Operational Principles (Contd)
  • EIA should provide the basis for
  • environmentally-sound decision making in which
    terms and conditions are clearly specified and
    enforced
  • the development of projects and activities that
    meet environmental standards and management
    objectives
  • an appropriate follow-up process with
    requirements for monitoring, management, audits,
    and evaluation

22
EIA Operational Principles (Contd)
  • EIA should address
  • all related and relevant factors, including
    social and health risks and impacts
  • cumulative and long-term, large-scale effects
  • design, sitting and technological alternatives
  • sustainability considerations including resource
    productivity, assimilative capacity and
    biological diversity

23
EIA Operational Principles (Contd)
  • EIA should result in
  • accurate information on the nature, likely
    magnitude and significance of potential effects,
    risks and consequences of proposals and
    alternatives
  • a relevant report for decision making including
    qualifications on conclusions reached and
    prediction of confidence limits
  • ongoing problem solving and conflict resolution
    throughout the process

24
Integration of EIA into the Decision-Making
Process
  • Timing EIA conducted early in the project cycle
  • Disclosure EIA results disclosed to all
    interested parties
  • Weight EIA results are considered by decision
    makers
  • Revisions Plans revised to include feasible
    mitigation measures or a less damaging alternative

25
Integration of EIA into the Decision-Making
Process (Contd)
  • Mitigation Agreed-upon mitigation measures are
    implemented and monitored for effectiveness
  • Monitoring Post-project, follow-up monitoring
    of impacts conducted and results acted upon

26
Characteristics of Effective EIAs
  • Completeness
  • all significant impacts considered
  • all relevant alternatives examined
  • Accuracy
  • appropriate forecasting procedures
  • appropriate evaluation procedures
  • Clarity
  • all interested parties can comprehend issues

27
Getting it Wrong
  • Examples of badly executed EIA include
  • Terms of reference are poorly drafted
    potentially serious issues are not assessed and
    adverse environmental impacts occur
  • Delays in project approval and cost increases
    occur when EIA is commenced too late in the
    project cycle (i.e., must back-track to retrofit
    equipment or re-design project)
  • EIA report is incomplete or not
    scientifically-defensible resulting either in
    project rejection or extended delays to address
    deficiencies

28
Concluding Thoughts
  • Important points to remember are
  • EIA is a structured process to anticipate,
    analyze and disclose environmental consequences
    associated with proposed projects or activities.
  • EIA seeks to ensure that potential problems are
    foreseen and addressed such that project benefits
    can be achieved without causing serious
    environmental degradation.
  • Done correctly, EIA can be a powerful
    environmental management tool
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