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Multi-Country — Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Manual and Workshops

Key Objectives:
  • To ensure the transfer of skills and training necessary to understand the environmental consequences of energy development.
  • To increase awareness and promote the benefits of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) related to electricity system planning and development.
Egypt, Mexico, Malaysia, Paraguay, Syria, Thailand, and Tunisia
Completed in 1997

Following a sustainable development course, Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) members worked in close collaboration with utilities and governments of developing countries to help them improve their electrical systems and increase their capacities. An important part of this capacity is ensuring that people have the skills and training necessary to understand the environmental consequences of energy development. This involves not only training to better understand how power systems operate, but also how to prevent or manage the environmental impacts that can occur. Governments and businesses need to know how to evaluate and mitigate the environmental impacts of all development projects, starting from project conception. They need to take a precautionary, integrated, and proactive approach to protecting the environment. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) can act as a catalyst to sustainable development and as a cornerstone of an environmental management program.

To this end, GSEP members developed a training workshop program to increase awareness and promote the benefits of EIA. The GSEP’s EIA workshops dealt with the full scope of the EIA process related to electricity system planning and development, including:

  • integrated resource planning, designing and carrying out environmental assessments;
  • government and public reviews and panel hearings and public consultation;
  • socio-economic impact assessment;
  • project management and managing environmental issues associated with facility construction and operation.

These EIA workshops were presented by a team of GSEP member company experts in partnership with the host utility or authority. The workshops were filled with presentations, exercises, and discussions. Participants came from utilities, governments, academia, and NGOs. Local case studies, where possible, were utilized to demonstrate EIA process elements and to provide greater relevance to the host country.

The workshops provided a vehicle for educating planners and project developers in host countries about the EIA process and its role in energy sector project decision-making and implementation (mainly electricity projects). The workshops also helped many developing countries fulfill the prerequisite that many development banks require: the integration of an environmental component into their loan requests.

The workshops drew on the collective experience within the GSEP in dealing with EIA requirements and in the processes for electrical utility projects developed worldwide. Feedback from these workshops was very positive.

The GSEP conducted the following workshops for these specific clients:

  • Comision Federal de Electricidad - Environmental Management Workshop for Hydroelectric Generation Facilities (Mexico City, Mexico, September 21-23, 1994);
  • Egyptian Electricity Authority - Environmental Impact Assessment Workshop (Cairo, Egypt, May 22-25, 1995);
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Workshop (Lattakia, Syria, May 27-29, 1995, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP));
  • Demand-Side Management in Integrated Resource Planning Workshop (Bangkok, Thailand, August 29-September 1, 1995; Kota Kinabulu, Malaysia, July 22-25, 1996);
  • Vice-Ministry of Mines and Energy - Environmental Management Workshop for Hydroelectric Generation Facilities (Asunción, Paraguay, October 28-31, 1996, in cooperation with UNDP);
  • Comision Federal de Electricidad - Environmental Management Workshop for Thermoelectric Generation Facilities (Mexico City, Mexico, November 5-8, 1996);
  • Société Tunisienne de l’Électricité et du Gaz - Évaluation environnementale des projets de production et de transport d’énergie électrique (Tunis, Tunisia, March 4-6, 1997).
  • Department of Electricity and Gas Supply of Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad - Social Impact Assessment and Public Participation Workshop (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 23-26, 1997, in co-operation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)). 

The GSEP’s EIA Manual is available in both an English version: “Environmental Impact Assessment”, and a French version: “Évaluation des impacts environnementaux”.

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