Environmental Assessment

Environmental assessment is a tool for intensive examination, necessary for decisions that have a diverse and significant environmental impact. Environmental assessment is applied at various levels of decision-making.

For effective environmental assessments, it is important to facilitate a dialogue between environmental and development authorities as well as with informed public representatives. Information exchange and use, with readily understandable data, facilitate communication among the various stakeholders and experts and play a vital role in ensuring close collaboration and transparency. Consultation and public participation is the key to carrying out both EIA and SEA. While decision-making authority is retained by governments, interaction with people and eliciting feedback allows affected populations to influence the decision-making process by raising issues that should be considered in scoping, project design, mitigation, monitoring and management plans and analysis of the alternatives.

However, there is no single accepted approach for environmental assessments that can be applied to all cases because of differences in scope, comprehensiveness, duration and legal context at various levels. In any case political will is essential for carrying out environmental assessments.

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