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Environment impact assessment

An environmental impact assessment is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the environmental, social and economic aspects. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as "the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating , social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made."

Environmental Impact Assessment Principles and Process

The eight guiding principles

Participation: An appropriate and timely access to the process for all interested parties. Transparency: All assessment decisions and their basis should be open and accessible. Certainty: The process and timing of the assessment should be agreed in advanced and followed by all participants. Accountability: The decision-makers are responsible to all parties for their action and decisions under the assessment process. Credibility: Assessment is undertaken with professionalism and objectivity.

Cost-effectiveness: The assessment process and its outcomes will ensure environmental protection at the least cost to the society. Flexibility: The assessment process should be able to adapt to deal efficiently with any proposal and decision making situation. Practicality: The information and outputs provided by the assessment process are readily usable in decision making and planning.

The Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF)

Is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government for the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of India's environmental and forestry policies and programmes. The primary concerns of the Ministry are implementation of policies and programmes relating to conservation of the country's natural resources including its lakes and rivers, its biodiversity, forests and wildlife, ensuring the welfare of animals, and the prevention

The Ministry also serves as the nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and for the follow-up of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The Ministry is also entrusted with issues relating to multilateral bodies such as the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and of regional bodies like Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) and South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) on matters pertaining to the environment.

Objectives of the Ministry

Conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife Prevention and control of pollution Afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas Protection of the environment and Ensuring the welfare of animals

Environmental management system (EMS)

refers to the management of an organization's environmental programs in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. It includes the organisational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy for environmental protection.

An Environmental Management System (EMS): Serves as a tool to improve environmental performance Provides a systematic way of managing an organizations environmental affairs Is the aspect of the organizations overall management structure that addresses immediate and long-term impacts of its products, services and processes on the environment Gives order and consistency for organizations to address environmental concerns through the allocation of resources, assignment of responsibility and ongoing evaluation of practices, procedures and processes Focuses on continual improvement of the system

What are ISO, ISO 14000, and ISO 14001?

ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization, located in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO 14000 refers to a family of voluntary standards and guidance documents to help organizations address environmental issues. Included in the family are standards for Environmental Management Systems, environmental and EMS auditing, performance evaluation and life-cycle assessment.

requirements of the ISO 14001:2004 standard?

Environmental Policy - develop a statement of the organizations commitment to the environment Environmental Aspects and Impacts - identify environmental attributes of products, activities and services and their effects on the environment Legal and Other Requirements - identify and ensure access to relevant laws and regulations Objectives and Targets and Environmental Management Program set environmental goals for the organization and plan actions to achieve objectives and targets Structure and Responsibility - establish roles and responsibilities within the organization Training, Awareness and Competence - ensure that employees are aware and capable of their environmental responsibilities

Communication - develop processes for internal and external communication on environmental management issues EMS Documentation - maintain information about the EMS and related documents Document Control - ensure effective management of procedures and other documents Operational Control - identify, plan and manage the organizations operations and activities in line with the policy, objectives and targets, and significant aspects Emergency Preparedness and Response - develop procedures for preventing and responding to potential emergencies Monitoring and Measuring - monitor key activities and track performance including periodic compliance evaluation Evaluation of Compliance - develop procedure to periodically evaluate compliance with legal and other requirements

Nonconformance and Corrective and Preventive Action - identify and correct problems and prevent recurrences Records - keep adequate records of EMS performance EMS Audit - periodically verify that the EMS is effective and achieving objectives and targets Management Review - review the EMS