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ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING IN RWANDA

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA) AS A PLANNING TOOL AND ITS EFFECTIVENESS
Theobald MASHINGA Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA)
Rwanda. IAIA 07, Seoul, Korea 3rd -9th ,June 2007

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Presentation Outline


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Definition of EIA; Historical Background and Context of EIA in Rwanda; Policy and Legal Framework on EIA; International Context of EIA; EIA Practice in Rwanda:
EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda

Presentation Outline (Cont…..)


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The EIA Process in Practice; Challenges to operationalise EIA: Screening;Scoping and Terms of Reference; Quality of the EIAs ; Decision-making and appeals against decisions; Inadequate expertise

) Public Participation.Presentation Outline (Cont….  Cost of Conducting EIA and Processing Fees..  Opportunities for Improving the EIA Process:  Publicizing and developing the EIA Legislation. Data Inadequacy. Private Sector and Public Participation  .

)  Environmental Management Plans and Audits.Presentation Outline (Cont…. Strengthening Public Private Partnership.  Promoting and Developing Capacity Building. Strengthening Enforcement Mechanisms.  Conclusion ..

mitigating and offsetting the significant adverse effects of proposed undertakings. predict and evaluate the environmental effects of proposed actions and projects.Definition of EIA  EIA is defined as a systematic process to identify. and particular attention is given in EIA practice to preventing. . This process is applied prior to major decisions and commitments being made.

and  the loss of biodiversity.  climate change.  .  Deforestation.Historical Background and Context of EIA in Rwanda The EIA adoption in Rwanda was triggered by environmental challenges posed by environmental degradation:  soil erosion.  water degradation.  wetland drainage.

 Various initiatives taken by the GoR to address the environmental issues include:  ..) These problems are exacerbated by:  low levels of environmental awareness.Historical Background and Context of EIA in Rwanda (cont…….  low intra-sectoral coordination on environmental issues. inadequate technical & human resources.

04/2005 of 08/04/200 (2005.  enactment of environmental Organic law No. . to coordinate and oversee all aspects of environmental management for sustainable development).  established Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA).Policy and Legal Framework of EIA  Formulation of environmental policy (2003).

adopted in June 2003.  .Policy and Legal Framework of EIA The Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda.  other socio-economic development policies and strategies such as “Rwanda Investment and Exports Strategic Action Plan. ensures the protection and sustainable management of environment. and  encourages rational use of natural resources. 2005-2007”.

Policy and Legal Framework of EIA cont………. and  at the same time contributing to poverty reduction. “Vision 2020” calls for a well regulated environment management system that takes into account principles of sustainable development.  Article 67(organic law) requires that projects.  .. programmes and policies that may affect the environment shall be subjected to environmental impact assessment before obtaining authorisation for implementation.

the world Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD 2002). African Ministerial meeting on Environment held in Durban. South Africa (1995) to all of which. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED 1992). embrace commitment to international environmental conventions particularly: United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm 1972). . Rwanda is a party.International Context of EIA       EIA process operates within the global concept of sustainable development.

Why adopting EIA System in Rwanda? Adaptation of EIA in Rwanda hinges on its importance as:  a key component of a more systematic and objective approach to environmental issues.  avoid ecological damage and large-scale irreversible loss of natural resource.  .  provides a framework for promotion of efficient decision-making in project approval.  enables implementation of environmental safeguards to mitigate significant negative impacts.

 plays the role of information dissemination between Rwanda and neighbouring countries.  provides a basis for future international cooperation and conflict resolution concerning environmental impacts at a regional level.Why adopting EIA System in Rwanda? (cont)… an invaluable tool for environmental management in a trans-boundary context.  .  widens the scope of understanding the impacts beyond its boarders.

 that some forms of environmental assessments have occasionally been carried on development initiatives (WB & ADB funded projects) prior to its systematic institutionalisation. private companies.  . several government departments.EIA Practice in Rwanda Under the present legislation. and parastatal organisations undertake EIAs.

 Under Article 65 of the Organic Law.EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda REMA established under article 63 of the Organic Law (No. 04/2005 of 08/04/2005) is charged with the responsibility to oversee. co-ordinate and supervise the operationalization of the EIA process.  . the law provides that a project cannot receive authorization for implementation unless issued with a certificate of clearance (EIA Certificate of Authorisation).

which includes: impact identification and analysis. environmental management Plan and follow-up phase: deals with monitoring and costing of activities of the project during its implementation 1. which involves: screening and scoping. development of mitigation measures and preparation of the report. namely: the Environmental Impact Initiation phase.EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda (cont……. 1. 1. the Impact Study Phase.)  1. . The decision-making & authorization phase entails review of EIA reports leading to decision-making. EIA process involves the following four stages.

. in situations where projects are already implemented (before coming into force of the Organic Law of May 1st.   EIA Process starts with a Developer submitting an application for EIA of a proposed project to REMA in form of a Project Brief.EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda (cont……. such projects must undertake an Environmental Audit to ensure environmental compliance.)  The law provides that an EIA must be conducted before a developer implements a project. 2005).

EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda (cont……. to determine the level of EIA required (screening). The purpose is to enable the Authority (and Lead Agencies ) establish whether or not the proposed activities are likely to have significant environmental impacts.    If adequate mitigation measures are identified in the Project Brief. .)  REMA registers the Project Brief as the developer’s formal application for an EIA. this may eliminate the need for a full EIA and a project may be approved with or without implementation condition .

)  The EIA Procedure Guidelines categorises projects into three categories or sometimes referred to as levels of impact: 1 (Impact level 1): Full EIA not required.EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda (cont…….( days may be less or more depending on the nature of the project)  Category  . REMA advises on the appropriate environmental management measures (plan). Exercise may take 18 days from the day received the project brief.

REMA provides the developer with clear indication of the additional information required. In this connection.EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda (cont……. . Once this information is received. REMA will determine whether or not a full EIA of the project is needed.)  Category 2 (Impact level 2): ): projects under this category are screened to determine whether or not a full EIA is needed.

fisheries (commercial).EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda (cont……. processing and manufacturing industries. Construction of huge buildings. . railways. urban development. rivers and water resources. mining.)  Category 3 (Impact level 3): Full EIA is required. Projects in this category include. airport. electrical infrastructure. Construction and rehabilitation of trunk roads (transportation). forestry related activities. dams and artificial lakes. agriculture.

EIA Process and Procedures in Rwanda (cont……. construction of petrol stations. and waste disposal facilities. Construction of Coffee washing stations.  .) construction of pipelines. it has also power or responsibility to issue a permit or licence normally referred to in Rwanda as EIA Certificate of Authorisation .  REMA in addition to the mandates of administering and supervising EIAs.

Challenges to operationalise EIA the current check list form being used is subjective and tend to focus on industrial processes and inappropriate for non-industrial projects.  The applicant is required to produce project brief. which takes more time and cost to prepare.  .  The other area that requires more focus is to determine the threshold value judgement that must be applied to EIA on case-by-case basis.

perhaps REMA should revisit the process and leave the responsibility of producing the ToR to the developer    . the ToR are either prepared by the developer or produced by REMA.Scoping and Terms of Reference  The main output of the scoping exercise is to determine the ToR for the EIA study. If the ToR is produced by the developer the condition is that the ToR must be submitted to REMA for endorsement. This seem to be very limiting and time consuming. The practice in REMA is that.

Some of the EIR are hurriedly done.Quality of the EIAs  The quality of EIRs varies and this is because some are prepared merely to obtain EIA Certificate of clearance. resulting into rejection and others subjected to redone.   . Rejection of the EIRs creates problem between the developer and EIA experts as the developers in most cases are adamant to pay the EIA expert on ground that the EIR is substandard because it has been rejected by the authority (REMA).

the latter has been encouraging as many individuals as possible to participate in carrying out EIAs.  More often application of EIA is done after project development has commenced. while others apply as consequence of the project having been halted by regulatory authorities (many cases).Quality of the EIAs on the basis that EIA is still new in Rwanda . . this created problem of increasing number inexperienced practitioners whose quality of work is of poor quality. This do not allow opportunity to  address the impacts that would have been avoided.

Forestry. but given that REMA is an affiliated organisation under the Ministry of Lands. Water and Mines (MINITERE) there can be a tendency of biasness in terms of decision  .  This approach has not been tested as yet.Decision-making and appeals against decisions the Government has an appeal system under which the developer can abandon the project. improve and resubmit a revised EIA report or appeal to the Minister for environment. Environment.

training needs that have been expressed by many staff include formal training on EIA.   .Inadequate expertise  Lack of capacity in both Government and the private sector to prepare quality EIRs. SEA techniques and assessment of trans boundary and cumulative effects in the EIA process. This problem is compounded by increasing demands placed upon REMA by new development initiatives especially in areas of great economic activity such as methane (CH4) gas. and various donors and development agency requirements.

01% of the amount invested excluding the operating cost.  .  The authority (REMA) is still depending on the ordinary budget from the government. which is not sufficient.  the draft bill proposes the levy to be 0.Cost of Conducting EIA and Processing Fees The levy for processing EIA that needs to be fixed by law establishing the National Fund for the Environment is not yet in place.

strengthening the private-public partnership. developing new legislations and Ministerial orders.Opportunities for Improving the EIA Process       publicize the environmental organic law. increasing private sector and public participation in the process. strengthening and developing enforcement mechanism . Developing EIA Audits Guidelines and conducting EIA Audits. promoting and supporting capacity building.

Conclusion ownership of EIA process need to be realised through increasing capacity both at REMA and district levels.  legal instruments and enforcement mechanisms to be put in place to assess and control implementation of auditing activities and monitoring plans.  Awareness and sensitization of stakeholders to the concepts and principles of EIA.  .

Develop effective EIAs research – information sharing networks. exchange of knowledge and experience.Conclusion (cont…. linking local. These are essential for capacity building    . national sub –regional and regional institutions.)  improve public participation and make members of the public feel they are important and needed in the EIA process so as to attract their interest and participation. Government need to take its international commitments and agreements to ensure that environmental concerns are integrated in the development process. majority are financed through loans from financial institutions. Government of Rwanda need to take the leading role in financing EIAs.

THANK YOU .