III. ANALYSIS OF THE TYPES OF MEASURES BEING USED AT THE SECTOR LEVEL INTEGRATE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS INTO THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
D. Proposed environmental regulation framework and underlying principles
3. Elements of the regulatory framework
Although standards and regulations would apply to all the development activities under the proposed system, only some of them would be required to register. The registration system would enable the Department of Environment and Conservation to determine which activities should be subject to environmental approvals and EIAs. As already indicated above, activities with the potential for a significant impact on the environment would require environmental approval. Only a small proportion of the registered development activities are expected to be subject to approval procedures. The activities that would be proposed for registration would include those that may require environmental monitoring or regulation either by the Department of Environment and Conservation or another agency. They would not include activities which could not be effectively regulated, such as very small-scale activities and traditional subsistence activities.
Development activities might also include:
Registration will be used as the first step in bringing the development activity within the scope of the regulatory framework. Registration will serve several purposes, such as:
The emphasis in the approach would be on ensuring that the environmental issues are considered during the earliest planning stages of a project and certainly at the time of the feasibility study. It is not intended that the registration should be taken as a form of permission to undertake a particular activity. To ensure that prospective developers are aware of the requirements to register, the Department of Environment and Conservation will circulate material explaining the requirements to register and also describing the environmental regulation system in Papua New Guinea.
In the previous section it was suggested that the failure to develop various environmental standards has inhibited the implementation of some of the environmental regulations. Under the new framework, it is envisaged that the standards and codes will be progressively developed in the following areas:
Priority is to be given to the development of industry standards in the first instance. It is intended that those standards will set the descriptive and numerical parameters for the range of potential emissions within each industry, as well as prescribing approved methods of the sampling and analysis. In the long term, the Department of Environment and Conservation proposes to develop the standards, regulations and codes for specific environments.