Environmental Impact Assessment


The environmental impact assessment (EIA) process is an interdisciplinary and multistep procedure to ensure that, environmental considerations are included in decisions regarding projects that may impact the environment. The EIA process helps identify the possible environmental effects of a proposed activity and how those impacts can be mitigated.

As a planning tool, EIA serves largely to inform interested parties of the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project and its alternatives. It illuminates environmental issues to be considered in making decisions.

The purpose of the EIA process is to inform decision-makers and the public of the environmental consequences of implementing a proposed project. If the EIA process is successful, it identifies alternatives and mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impact of a proposed project.

The benefits of the EIA process includes: Potential screens out environmental-unsound projects, Proposes modified designs to reduce environmental impacts, Identifies feasible alternatives, Predicts significant adverse impacts, Identifies mitigation measures to reduce, offset or eliminate major impacts, Engages and informs potentially affected communities and individuals, Influence, decision-making and the developmental and terms and conditions

The EIA has positive Effects on Projects and as follows withdrawal of unsound projects, legitimating sound projects, selection of improved project location, reformulation of plans, and redefinition of goals and responsibilities of project proponents. Although, there are some potential difficulties of assessing the environmental impact of forestry and other projects in developing countries, the difficulties most often are the scarcity or lack of trained staff and of environmental data, poor understanding of tropical ecosystems, inaccessibility of project arose, the scarcity of funds, the need to avoid delays in projects designed to raise living standards as soon as possible, the lack of institutional arrangements for preparing and reviewing impact reports, the lack of an adequate system of environmental lawn and their enforcement, and the lack of a conservation ethic on the part of some officials or private developers.

There are more moans available for carrying out EIA in developing countries than is often realized. More and more environmental information is available from national and international research centers or data banks. Techniques of remote sensing, using both aerial photography and satellite imagery, are being refined at all times, and these techniques are often short cuts to lengthy field data collection. I urge everyone to step out in making sure that all proposed projects undergone the various required forms of EIA processes before implementing.

About the Author: Kaior Alu James is an Undergraduate Student From the Department of Wildlife and Range, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi Nigeria


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