Environmental Assessment as a Project Management Tool
The Benefits of Environmental Assessment
Most governments and donor agencies acknowledge the contribution of EA to improved project design. The weakness of EA in the past has been largely due to poor techniques and the failure to pay attention to findings at the implementation stage (ESSA Technologies 1994). A review of current environmental practices found the major benefits of the EA process for project sponsors to be (ESSA Technologies 1994: 16):
- Reduced cost and time of project implementation.
- Cost-saving modifications in project design.
- Increased project acceptance.
- Avoided impacts and violations of laws and regulations.
- Improved project performance.
- Avoided treatment/clean up costs.
The benefits to local communities from taking part in environmental assessments include:
- A healthier local environment (forests, water sources, agricultural potential, recreational potential, aesthetic values, and clean living in urban areas).
- Improved human health.
- Maintenance of biodiversity.
- Decreased resource use.
- Fewer conflicts over natural resource use.
- Increased community skills, knowledge and pride.
This is a general overview of the many benefits offered by effective EA.
The Cost of environmental assessment