The Scoping Process for Environmental Impact Assessment of Project: A Case of Outer Ring-Road Development Project of Nepal- based on Local People's Perception
Environmental scoping is the foundation of Impact Assessment (EIA). Issue identified at the early stage during scoping, provides guidance to EIA and EM P. Public consultation is the key process for conducting scoping to identify the issues; which upon analysis can be ascertained as significant issue. EIA is mandated through the enforcement of environmental legislation. Scoping process forms the starting point of EIA. Many developed countries have established a set of rules under their respective legislations through which the scoping is conducted while some other countries do not have legislative requirement for scoping; yet public consultation is required to be held. Developing countries also require scoping process, while in some; the scoping is replaced by the Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE). However, the public consultation is recommended in all EIA practices; nonetheless the degree of consultations depends upon the interest of project proponents and authorizing agencies. In some developing countries, the authoring agency conducts scoping process, for the project proponent, while in other countries the project proponent is required to conduct scoping and submit the report to approving agency. In both the cases, the discloser of scoping results to the concerned public is not legally required. However ShriLanka a Scoping Forum is constituted on the project by project basis, where concerned public have an access to scoping results. Nevertheless, project proponents and authorizing agencies in developing countries are gradually realizing the importance of scoping, ensuring that all the environmental and social issues are identified and addressed in time and as a result smooth implementation of project is likely to take place, if not the project implementation is bound to suffer due to an intense pressure of public grievances. In such a context, a brief Scoping report of the Outer Ring-Road development Project of Nepal has been presented as an illustration of a good practice case
Keywords: Environmental Impact Analysis, Scoping Process, Environmental Protection Regulation, National Environmental Policy Act, Initial Environmental Evaluation, Outer Ring-Road Development Project, Project Proponent, Project Authorizing Agency
Dr. Ram B. Khadka
Professor, Faculty of Environmental Management of Pokhara University
Dr Ram B Khadka is a leading expert in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Planning Issues and Sustainability. First graduated in Biology, he obtained M.Sc and PhD degrees in Ecology from Aberdeen University, UK and University of Delhi, India. Dr Khadka has 30 years in teaching and working experiences as an academic, Environmental Management and specialist in Nepal and outside. Complementary to teaching, he has worked as consultants, researcher, project management, trainer and lead trainer in the field of environmental management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Initial Environmental Examination, Environmental Screening and Environmental Planning and Sustainable Development for the government of Nepal, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, CIDA, DANNIDA, UNDP, UNEP, IUCN, USAID, WWF and many others, in Nepal and outside. Dr. Khadka in collaboration with Academy for Educational Development (AED) and USAID developed South Asian EIA Training Manual under SARI/E program as an e-learning tool and conducted training in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Bhutan and in Shrilanka. Dr. Khadka was also appointed as a member of UNEP, EIA expert group to assist in developing EIA Training Resource Manual for developing countries.
Dr. Khadka has also served a Coordinator for Environmental Assessment program of IUCN-The World Conservation Union for 7 years and Director of Asian Regional Environmental Assessment Program of IUCN-The World Conservation Union.
Internationally his professional standing and contribution in the field of environmental management was ultimately recognized by the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA) and awarded an individual award in the recognition of the contribution made in the promotion of Environmental Assessment in South Asia in 2000.
Dr Khadka started his career as Assistant Professor in Ecology (1970) and Associate Professor (1985) at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Currently he is serving as a Dean of Environmental Faculty of Pokhara University Nepal since 2000.