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

Draft for Consultation and Comment
Version 22 August 2016

6.1 Purpose of public participation at the screening step

  1. While EIA legislation often does not specifically require public participation at the Screening step, it is strongly recommended. As a general principle, public participation should commence as early as possible in order to maximize the benefits of relationship-building between project proponents and local communities. Screening may be the first time that a community hears about a particular project in their area or that may affect their livelihood. It may also be the first time that the national and local governments and relevant ministries are made aware about a proposed project. Results of early discussions and feedback can also be important inputs to support decision-making and the determination of the EIA requirements of the proposed project. Finally, public participation is important at this step because the Screening decision may result in no further formal EIA process and therefore this may be the only opportunity for communities to contribute to a government decision in the EIA process.
  1. Accordingly, the purpose of public participation at the Screening step is to:
    • Establish relationships between the project proponent and both the PAP and relevant government agencies;
    • Ensure the PAP are aware of the project proposal and EIA process;
    • Begin building the capacity of PAP and local stakeholders to participate in the EIA process;
    • Provide the local community with an opportunity to contribute their initial views on the project proposal for consideration in the Screening decision (i.e. potential social and environmental issues, project design, scale and siting considerations, etc.); and
    • Ensure the Screening decision is made publicly available.