III. INTEGRATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO DECISION- MAKING FOR FLOOD LOSS REDUCTION
2. Manual for eia for large-scale projects
Under FAP, a manual on EIA was prepared in 1995 (ISPAN, 1995) so that all FAP regional plans and projects are subject to a comprehensive and uniform EIA. The goal of all environmental assessments is to protect the environment by ensuring that only environmentally sound projects are designed and implemented. In EIA, positive and negative impacts are identified and either project designs are altered or mitigation measures are developed to lessen or alleviate negative ones. Public participation is central to the process and should take place at all stages of an EIA. The EIA involves an integrated assessment of the impacts of a project or plan on both natural and human environments. It focuses on linkages among the physical-chemical, biological, social and economic components of the environment.
Source: ISPAN, 1995
There are 10 major steps in the EIA framework to be undertaken for FAP projects as illustrated in Figure 17. The important environmental components on which impacts will be assessed are as follows:
Land resources: Land types; Land use; Soils; Agriculture
Biological resources: Capture fisheries; Culture fisheries; Forest and Homestead vegetation; Wetlands; Wildlife
Human resources: Socio-economic; Public health; Hazard and risk assessment
The main impacts identified will be quantified. Where an impact cannot be valued, it will be assessed on a 21 point scale from -10 to +10; 1 to 10 scale for beneficial impacts, a -1 to -10 scale for negative impacts and 0 for no impact. An Environmental Management Plan will be prepared detailing all the follow-up activities in addition to those included in the basic project design that are needed to ensure that the plan or project is environmentally sound.
ISPAN carried out three case studies (ISPAN, 1992a, 1992b, 1994) to test the EIA guideline methodologies, approaches and procedures. The procedures and steps advocated in the EIA guidelines were found to be both achievable and practical as a process. This study presents the EIA of the proposed Bhelumia Bheduria Project in the SW region of the country. The objectives of the project are to protect the area from very high tide and storm surges and to improve drainage conditions.