Environment Impact Assessment & Challenges, Bhutanese

Report
2nd South Asia Judicial Roundtable on
Environmental Justice , 30-31 August 2013,
Thimphu, Bhutan
• Ugyen Tshewang (PHD), Secretary, National Environment Commission
Secretariat, RGOB, Thimphu
• Tshering Choden, (BSc, Sci), Asstt. Environment Officer, National
Environment Commission Secretariat, RGOB, Thimphu
Outline of the Presentation
 Environmental Conservation Ethics of Bhutan
 Environmental Policies and Legislation governing EIA
 EIA and sustainable Development
 Institutional Arrangement
 Judicial Proceedings
 Implementation of EIA and its assurance
 Projects requiring EIA
 EIA Procedure
 Defaulters and offenders\
 Challenges
 Recommendations
Environmental Conservation
Ethics of Bhutan
 Traditional and Local
Beliefs
 Royal Kasho in 1974 by
the Fourth Druk Gyalpo
 Forest Act and National
Forest Policy
 Subsequent Acts and
Regulations
Environmental Legislations
 National Environment Protection Act 2007
 Environment Assessment Act 2000 & Regulations for
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Environment Clearance of Projects 2002 (under revision)
Water Act 2011 @ Water Regulation (Final Draft)
Waste Prevention and Management Act 2009 & Regulation 2012
Biodiversity Act 2003
The Middle Path- National Environment Strategy 1998
Mines and Mineral Act 1995
Forest & Nature Conservation Act 1995 & Regulation 2006
Carbon Neutral Policy (2009)
EIA and Sustainable Development
 Sustainable Management and development determine
Environmental well being and security of livelihood.
 Population pressure, industrialization, urbanization,
adverse impacts of climate change, and the
indiscriminate exploitation and use of resource base
 EA - one of the tools.
EIA and Sustainable Development
 EIA – technique for ensuring that the likely significant
effects of new development on the environment is fully
understood and taken into account for decision
making regarding projects, developments and
programs.
 An anticipatory environmental management tool for
the systematic evaluation of a proposal and its effects
on the environment and for mitigating those effects.
EIA and Sustainable Development
Projects are unsustainable if financially expensive,
environmentally invasive and socially intrusive.
EIA is one of the supporting tools to achieve Gross
National Happiness (GNH)
Institutional Arrangement
 NEC
 National Environment
Commission Secretariat
 Environment Assessment
Technical Committee
 Environment Assessment
Advisory Board
 Competent Authorities
 Line Ministries and
Agencies /Environment
Unit
 District Administration
 District Environment
Committee
Institutional arrangement
 NEC –Chaired by the PM, Ministers, NGOs and
Eminent Persons.
 Adopt Regulations; environmental standards; enforce
and implement policies, plans and program ,
 Interim Amendments for Conflicting provisions of the
sectoral legislation till next session of the Parliament,
 Designate Competent authorities to carry out its
function
Judicial proceedings
 NEC deemed to be civil court and proceedings before
the Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial
proceeding when the Commission decides to hear
cases before it.
 Commission may decide to establish environmental
tribunal and communicate their decision to the
Government and Chief Justice for its Constitution
Environment Assessment Process
 Application accepted if information is adequate for
screening and EA as per the guidelines.
 Projects are screened and may issue EC if information
provided is sufficient to identify the potential
environmental effects of the project and conditions of
Regulation – verified through field visits.
 If the secretariat is not satisfied with the information,
TOR – to prepare environment assessment document.
EIA Procedures
 Screening
 Promoter to submit draft terms of reference for carrying out
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environmental impact assessment
Scoping
Endorsement of terms of reference by the NECS
Environmental impact assessment report must be compiled based
on endorsed terms of reference and submit to the secretariat.
The Secretariat may ask the Promoter to present the environmental
impact assessment report to the committee.
If the EAAB finds that the information is still inadequate, the
promoter is then required to make necessary changes to the EIA
document and submit necessary justifications accordingly.
Application Guidelines for
Environmental Clearance
 Highways and Roads.
 Industrial Projects.
 Mines.
 Forestry.
 Transmission Lines.
 Hydropower.
 Urban Development.
 Tourism Activities.
Projects Requiring EIA
 Hydropower.
 Projects
within
Protected Areas/other
areas
of
national
significance.
 Mines and Quarries.
 Mega
Projects
(including
high
tension transmission
lines,
Education
Cities,
Urban
Development,
Industrial
Estate,
National Highways)
Defaulters and Offenders
 Article 42 of
EA Act,
2000
 Section 45
of
Regulation,
2002 on
Fine
Schedule
Challenges
 EIA not as per the ToR and Originality of EIA report.
 Provisions of Acts and Regulations
 Climate Change
 Resources - Financial, Technical and Manpower.
 Stakeholders’ participation and professional ethics.
Recommendations
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Carrying Capacity of the Country’s Ecosystem
Strategic Environment Assessment instead of pocket EIAs.
Effective Regulations and Laws
Harmonization of Regional laws and Regulations - TransBoundary
Impacts
Regional co-operation and integration
Capacity Building Technical Experts, private, manpower and
other .
Amendment of EA Act and its Regulation.
Revise Sectoral Guidelines.
Environmental Justice – Polluter Pays Principle at all levels –
Judiciary
THANKS FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION
“TASHI DELEK”

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