Regional Guidelines on Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Draft for Consultation and Comment
Version 22 August 2016

11.1 Purpose of public participation during project monitoring, compliance and enforcement

  1. For projects that have an EIA approved and proceed to implementation, it is vital both for the project’s environmental and social outcomes and for the integrity of the EIA system that the project construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning comply with the EIA Report, EMMP, and any conditions of approval issued by the EIA Authority (and any other relevant authorities).
  1. To ensure this compliance, and to achieve the commitments in the EIA Report and EMMP, a monitoring system is required that involves both internal monitoring by the project proponent (or an expert third party) and independent monitoring by external parties. This external monitoring could be undertaken by either (or both) government agencies (national or sub-national level) or local communities.
  1. Monitoring is a continuous activity to be undertaken throughout the life of project implementation. Monitoring will help to satisfy the community that the project is being operated in accordance with the conditions of approval. It also helps to respond to and correct issues and concerns that may arise during implementation before serious consequences occur. Monitoring also enables the identification of:
    • any non-compliance with, or failure to implement, measures in the EIA Report, EMMP and other contractual agreements;
    • any weaknesses in mitigation and management measures (i.e. measures may be being implemented as per the EIA Report and EMMP, but not resulting in the anticipated avoidance or mitigation of impacts);
    • any new impacts that may not have been included in the EIA Report, as well as appropriate mitigation measures and associated amendments to the EMMP; and
    • findings and experience that may be relevant for future EIAs on similar projects or projects in similar locations.
  1. The EMMP should clearly spell out the public participation processes that will apply to the monitoring of the project’s implementation, including roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders. There also needs to be a mechanism to ensure that these public participation processes in the EMMP are undertaken during the project implementation.
  1. Should the monitoring discover a lack of compliance or breaches of conditions, mechanisms to enforce compliance need to be readily available and understood by the project proponent, as well as the PAP and other stakeholders.