Why EIA Conducted?
EIA strives to harmonise environment and development by seeking to answer the following basic questions:
What are the implications of not conducting an EIA?
Commencing project implementation without conducting an EIA constitutes an offence which carries a fine of K210,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both?
What is EIA?
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a systemic process which identifies, predicts and evaluates potential positive and negative impacts that a proposed project may have on the environment in its totality that is, physical, biological and socio-economic aspects.
It is from the EIA process that enhancement and mitigation measures are proposed for positive and negative impacts respectively. It is also from the EIA process that a decision may be made on whether or not to proceed with the proposed project. The EIA process dates back to the 1960s when social awareness on environmental issues increased to high proportions. Over time, the process has spread across the globe with most developed and many developing countries including Zambia adopting EIA as an important tool for caring about the environment.
This has fostered development of among others, national environmental legislation within which EIA has been embedded as a requirement for large developmental projects.