Environmental assessment at a project design and implementation level

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is used to identify the environmental and social impacts of the proposed project prior to decision-making in order to predict environmental impacts at an early stage in project planning and design; find ways and means to reduce adverse impacts; shape projects to suit the local environment; and present the predictions and options to decision makers. The key elements of an EIA are: identification of issues and concerns of interested parties; evaluation of the importance of these issues to assess the need for EIA; identification of possible options; exploring mitigating measures that deal with uncertainty; review of actions proposed to prevent or minimize the potential adverse effects of the project; and issuing environmental statements to report the findings of the EIA.

The environmental impact statement usually requires a description of the proposed activity, a consideration of reasonable alternatives (as well as the consequences of the no-action alternative) and a description of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the proposed activity and its alternatives. Thereafter, the potential environmental impacts must be described and assessed in terms of their significance; mitigation measures for reducing adverse environmental impacts must be proposed; and the underlying assumptions, methodologies and data used in the assessment must be made explicit.

 


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Additional Material:

EIA Open Educational Resource (external link)