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

Draft for Consultation and Comment
Version 22 August 2016

8.1 Purpose of public participation in the EIA investigation and reporting

  1. Public participation is important throughout the data gathering and EIA investigation process to ensure that:
    • the EIA consultant has access to the most relevant information, including local perspectives, to effectively conduct the investigation;
    • the PAP and other stakeholders can contribute their opinions and expectations to the analysis;
    • the PAP and other stakeholders are kept informed of progress;
    • the PAP and other stakeholders can propose alternatives and suggest appropriate impact avoidance, management, mitigation, compensation and resettlement measures;
    • the specific needs and concerns of women and vulnerable groups are identified and considered; and
    • constructive relationships are maintained between stakeholders.
  1. Based on the information gathered, the EIA consultant will prepare the EIA Report. Once drafted, the EIA consultant should seek feedback on the draft EIA Report from both the EIA Authority and the PAP and stakeholders. This should involve at least one meeting, at which the EIA consultant presents the draft report, as well as provides opportunities for submission of comments. The EIA consultant should update the draft EIA Report following the consideration of those comments and issues raised by the PAP and stakeholders, before formally submitting it to the EIA Authority for review and decision.
  1. Public participation is vital during the EIA investigation and reporting step to ensure the EIA is based on relevant and up-to-date information regarding:
    • Baseline data of environmental and socio-economics including cultural aspects and perspectives of women, ethnic minorities, and other vulnerable groups;
    • Project alternatives, to inform good project design;
    • Impacts (both direct and indirect);
    • The viability of impact avoidance, mitigation and management strategies;
    • Local knowledge and practices;
    • PAP and stakeholder suggestions;
    • Complaints, feedback, and reactions from the community; and
    • Responses to any draft Resettlement Action Plan and proposed compensation, including the extent of community consent or agreement.