October 1, 2020
Twenty one representatives from ten locally operated Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Consultancies participated in a virtual sensitization session on the EIA process on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The session was hosted by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
The meeting was convened to update the consultants of the new approaches implemented and to provide information on the EIA process, including new arrangements for conducting virtual public consultation meetings as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; provide feedback on Agency's experience in the review of EIAs, obtain perspectives and reactions from the consultants and to sensitize the consultants to the proposed EIA Regulations which are scheduled to be operationalized in the first quarter of the new financial year.
Andrea Donaldson, Chairperson, Environmental Impact Assessment Committee and Manager, Projects Branch, NEPA, who chaired the meeting stated that, “the meeting was very productive, as it enabled the Agency to raise its concerns with the consultants regarding the quality of EIA reports received for review in recent times. It also helped the consultants to understand the increased and vested interest that the public has in the EIA process and accordingly understand the importance of including full information in the reports for the public benefit.”
Commenting on the meeting Abigail McIntosh, Environmental Analyst, Environmental Solutions Limited stated that she was grateful for the meeting. She said, “the meeting was good, useful and very timely, as the regulations are needed. I am looking forward to reviewing the draft legislation and providing feedback. I believe that it is the start of something good.”
Consultancies represented at the meeting were the CEO’s from Conrad Douglas & Associates Limited, CL Environmental Co. Ltd, Environmental Solutions Limited, Environmental & Engineering Managers Limited, Technological and Environmental Management Network, Enviro Planners Ltd., Forrest & Associates, EPN Consultants and Safety Health Environment Network Consultants and members of respective teams.
Ms Gillian Guthrie, Acting Chief Technical Director, from the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation participated in the sensitization session and briefed the consultants on the preparation of EIA Regulations.