Understanding Environmental Impact Assessments – how can you make sure your voice  is heard.

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are a tool used by government to assist them in deciding whether projects should go ahead or not.  EIAs should be used to look at all the advantages and disadvantages of any project proposal in order to assist the decision-maker in arriving at a decision.  Public Participation is an integral part of the EIA.

However, unscrupulous use of EIAs can mean that  the public participation process becomes a mockery of public participation.  The Green Connection can assist residents, community groups etc to better understand the EIA process, and can provide advice and assistance all the way through an EIA process. The aim of such advice is to assist participants in an EIA process to better understand the actual process, to point out common flaws and how to overcome these, and to generally constructively intervene to ensure an effective EIA process.  Such a process should enable participants to comfortably voice their views, know that their concerns have been addressed, and be comfortable that the outcome has been fair.

Members of the Green Connection have worked with organisations such as WESSA:WC, Earthlife Africa and others to watchdog EIA processes, and to constructively analyse some of the common flaws (click here to download paper presented at EIA conference ).  While we aim to avoid expensive court action, our specialist has assisted a legal team to prepare for court action where necessary.

Since 2006, the Green Connection has been assisting concerned residents of the Riebeek Valley near Malmesbury.  For further information on this case, click here.

If you feel that the Green Connection could assist you, please contact info@thegreenconnection.org.za and we will respond as soon as we get your request.