III. MECHANISMS FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS INTO SECTOR
POLICIES AND FOR MONITORING
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A. Experience and current mechanism for, and future direction of, coordination among relevant ministries and agencies
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3. Role of the scoping process in EIAs
Scoping is a vital part of the IEE and EIA processes and is the stage at which much can be done to smoothen the rest of the process to follow. It applies to IEEs and EIAs alike, and varies only in depth, duration and comprehensiveness. It not only provides meaning and an essential human context to the mass of data that surrounds the development projects, but also accelerates the entire IEE or EIA effort by enabling the team to grasp the key issues and concerns much more rapidly.
During the early stages of processing a prescribed project, the concerned PAA undertakes environmental scoping to determine the extent of the issues to be addressed and identify significant issues related to a proposed action. To achieve those objectives, PAA must:
- Ensure the formal and informal participation of all the agencies concerned, the proponent of the action, and other interested persons (including representatives of the affected segment of the public and others who, on environmental grounds, might not be in accord with the action);
- Determine whether the project proponent should be asked to prepare an IEE or EIA, unless an adequate IEE has already been presented with the preliminary information;
- Determine the scope and the significant issues to be analysed in depth in the IEE or EIA;
- Determine the reasonable alternatives that should be addressed by the IEE or EIA;
- Identify and eliminate from the detailed study those issues that are not significant or that have been covered by prior studies or environmental reviews;
- Set the IEE or EIA terms of reference;
- Ensure regular communications with the developer in the preparation of the required document.
As part of the scoping process the responsible PAA may also:
- Set page limits on the required document;
- Set schedules and time periods as necessary;
- Identify the required expertise for preparing the IEE or EIA;
- Hold one or more early scoping meetings which may be integrated with other meetings or processes already established by PAA.