Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a legal tool that aims to contribute to accountable decision-making and environmental protection and sustainable development. Recent evaluation studies of EIA in low and middle income countries show that goal achievement of EIA is significantly influenced by the performance of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (ECE). In other words, in situations where environmental compliance and enforcement are weak, EIA hardly contributes to environmental protection or sustainable development. It is in realization of the above that EANECE in partnership with the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) and the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) are currently developing a multi-year programme that aims to contribute to a balanced development of EIA and ECE in the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The objectives of the programme include:
- Identification, documentation and dissemination of best practices in Environmental Compliance & Enforcement in EIA in the region, with special focus on how the two fields can reinforce each other;
- Identification of priorities and concrete actions for improvement of the inter-linkages between EIA and ECE.
- Target audience:
- The programme is aimed at the Eastern African countries of Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and possibly Ethiopia;
- The programme primarily targets professionals working in environmental authorities (such as NEMA or EPA), both at the department for EIA, and the inspectorate teams. Possibly, staff of EIA units within sector ministries can become a target group (dependent on the institutional set up of EIA and ECE in a country);
- Finally, the programme aims to involve active members of the national EIA associations and enforcement networks.
The programme approach is inspired by successful regional programmes implemented by INECE, EANECE and the NCEA. Two key elements are: the south-south field visits that provide for practical intensive exchange and network building between professionals; and the central role of national and regional EIA associations and ECE networks as a platform for continued exchange and co-operation on environmental management, both at the national, regional and international levels.
The intended results of the programme include:
- Guidance material for EIA/ECE, such as good practice case studies, templates and checklists.
- Concrete proposals for improving ECE/EIA per country, per sector and for the region.
- Strengthened capacity: Strengthened network across countries, and within country to implement, enforce and assure compliance with EIA requirements; and improved knowledge base of the individuals through professional exchange between experts.