Environmental Impact Assessment is an analytical process/procedure that systematically examines the possible environmental consequences of the implementation of a given activity/project. The aim is to ensure that the environmental implications of decisions related to a given activity are taken into account before the decisions are made. Whenever necessary, economic, social, cultural, and health dimensions are considered as integral parts of EIA. It is a precautionary measure to mitigate pollution and hazards that may accrue from inefficient production, obsolete equipment and/or careless execution of planned development action on the environment. The EIA process in Kenya is guided by the legislative framework as found in the Environmental (Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations, 2003 - Legal Notice 101, which establishes the Authority within which all development activities are monitored and sets the guidelines for practice.
Kenya is also subject to a number of Multilateral Agreements (MEAs) on Environmental protection and sustainable development, namely;
- The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
- The Framework Convention on Climate change
- Convention on Biological Diversity
- Agenda 21, e.t.c.
Throughout the process, we ensure that the proponent is engaged in the study. In this regard, we consult with the proponent from an early stage (screening and scoping) to facilitate timely and focused reports. It is also important to note that depending on the project type and/or severity of the predicted impacts, we have two types of screening in Kenya. These are;
- Where the project type is subject to EIA as defined or listed in the legislative schedule guiding NEMA
- where proposals are screened on an individual or special basis. A good example of this is the initial environmental evaluation carried out where the impacts of a given proposal are uncertain in the case of new technologies or undeveloped areas.
The EIA report should on the minimum contain the following;
- Possible sources of impacts and Area of impact on the natural and human environments
- Project inputs and activities
- Environmental Guidelines and Standards (National Legislation, International guidelines, International Conventions and Treaties)
- Mitigation measures
- Environmental Management Plan
- Monitoring and Evaluation mechanisms
All these frameworks emphasize the importance of mainstreaming environment in development and sets standards upon which projects ought to follow for them to be given consent to exist. A good EIA combines the different guidelines and highlights in each of the agreements to come up with a comprehensive decision-making tool.
At Éclat, we have a valuable team of environmental impact assessment experts, each with a specialized area of study to deliver the best. Our team includes;
- Communication and social development experts
- GIS specialist
- Legal experts
- Conservation biologist