EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) refers to the activities aimed at identifying the impact of legislative proposals, projects, policies, operational processes, interpretation, and communication of information on bio geophysical environments, on man and welfare. Environmental impact assessment is a project. EIA is a systematic process to identify the future implications of the actions currently or proposed.

EIA Objectives:

(i)      Identifying , predicting, and assessing economic, environmental, and social impacts of development activities.

(ii)              Providing information on the environmental impacts of decision-making.

(iii)     Promoting environmentally sound and sustainable development by identifying adequate alternative and mitigate actions.

EIA is widely recognized as an instrument to ensure sustained and minimal environmental degradation development.

Importance of EIA:

1. EIA could be an important element for good management of the environment.

2. Government policy is that before approval by the planning commission, any industrial project must obtain the Ministry of the Environment’s clearance for an EIA.

EIA Methodology:

  • The first step in EIA methodology is to determine whether the project under consideration follows the jurisdiction of the relevant legislation and rules, and, if so, whether it is likely to cause a significant environmental disruption.
  • An EIA and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are prepared, where appropriate.
  • The EIS is publicly examined and reviewed in several countries at public hearings.
  • Political decision is finally made
  • Accepted
  • Accepted by amendments
  • Accepted an alternative proposal
  • Refused

EIA Process:

A logical sequence of work in a project is called EIA process in the EIA system.

Principles of guidance:

Eight guiding principles govern the whole process of EIA.


All stakeholders should have appropriate and timely access to the process.


All evaluation decisions and their foundation should be open.


All participants should agree on the process and timing of the evaluation in advance.


All parties’ decision makers are accountable for their actions and decisions during the evaluation process.


Professionalism and objectivity are used for the evaluation.

6.Cost efficiency:

The evaluation process and its results will ensure protection of the environment to society at the lowest cost.

7. Flexible:

Any proposal and decision-making situation should be addressed effectively through the evaluation process.

8. Convenience:

In decision making & planning, the information and outputs provided by the assessment process are easy to use.

EIA Process participants:

·         Agencies:

The project initiators are government or private agencies.

·         Decision makers:

Single or group designated.

·         Evaluator:

EIS preparation agency.

Sequence of the EIA process:

1.Participation of Stakeholder:

To ensure quality, efficiency and effectiveness, stakeholders’ participation takes place in different stages of EIA.

2.Screened and Scoped Projects:

(i) Determine the need for EIA.

(ii) Describe different criteria for screening.

(iii) Scoping shall specify EIA coverage or scope.

3.Design and building of projects:

(i)Project type being considered.

(ii) the considered physical dimensions of the area.

(iii) Is it optically to use the resources?

(iv) Whether the commitment of land is irretrievable?

(v) Whether a major phase of a greater development is the project?

(vi) Whether serious disruptions to the environment will occur during building?

(vii) What is the proponent’s long-term plans?

4.Operation of the project:

(i) How was the safety equipment monitored regularly?

(ii) How are the products handled with hazardous waste?

(iii) What contingency plans have been developed to address possible accidents?

(iv) What are the measures taken to train environmental protection employees?

(v) Which environmental monitoring plans have been drawn up?

5. Site features:

(i) Is the site susceptible to floods, earthquakes and other natural hazards?

(ii) Is the terrain difficult to predict ground water features and air pollution etc?

(iii) Is the local environment conducive to project success?

(iv) How many are susceptible to the project for being displaced?

(v ) What are the principal characteristic of local fauna and flora (e.g. protein, calorie content, weed and/or plague status, carnivorousness, species rarity etc.)

(vi) Will the project interfere with fish population movements and major migratory animals?

(vii) Is the project likely to jeopardize historic sites?

6.Measures to mitigate:

(i) Design system for the prevention, reduction and minimization of adverse effects.

(ii) Improve positive outcomes.

7.Measures for monitoring and auditing:

Identify the monitoring and auditing impacts required.

8.Socio-economic elements:

(i) Where are the trade-offs expected?

(ii) Are the existing job, ethnic and age group inequalities interfering with (mixing, increasing or reducing) the project?

9.Information and resources availability:

(i) whether the project’s specific impacts are being consulted by the local and external experts?

(ii) Is it available to identify potential impacts of similar projects with the relevant guidelines, technical information and other publications?

(iii) Is there consideration of relevant environmental standards, regulations etc.?

(iv) Is the source identified and is accessible to relevant environmental data?

(v) Is there consideration of the views of the expert groups and public on the project?

(vi) If the technical staff responsible for carrying out the project is available?

10.Report and Examination of the EIA:

Including a non-technical summary, methodologies used, results, interpretations and conclusions, the full report information. The review evaluates the adequacy of problems and facilitates decision-making.

About the Author: Lubaina Nadeem is an undergraduate student of environmental science in GC women university Sialkot. She is passionate to write for environment.

Editor: Muhammad Nazim