Challenges for the Effective Implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment Law: The case of Foreign Direct Investment Projects in Addis Ababa.

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Addis Ababa University


There is a danger that the advantage of environmental protection and enhancement achievable through the use of EIA will prove inadeq uate unless a high level of attention is given to the application ofEIA by FDI projects. In the era of rapid industri ali zation and population growth in the country, and increas ing recognition of the environmental impacts of certain development projects, the need to effecti ve ly apply EIA by FDI proj ects is apparent. The objective of thi s study is to indicate the challenges for the e ffective implementation of EIA by FDI projects. This is crucial if performance is to be improved in order to help to protect the environment of the country. Apart from reviewing the documentary literature, questionnaire, key informant interview, focus group di scussion and perso nal observation were the main research instruments employed in the study. About 26 interviews were conducted with relevant agents of government institutions, foreign investors, consultants and local community members. Moreover, 6 EISRs were assessed based on relevant international and national standard s. Whenever possibl e, an attempt was made to overcome potential inaccuracies by crosschecking participants' accounts with those of other participants in the EIA process and with documentary evidence. Drafts of parts of earlier versio ns of much of the materials in this paper were reviewed by some of those interviewed. Generally, the approach adopted was in close accord with the principles for conducting EIA evaluations enunciated by Sadler (1998). Pertaining to the results, lack of adequate legal foundation, lack of institutional capacity of EPA, weak inter-institutional coordi nation between EPA and li censing agencies and weak public participation were identified as major hindrances for the implementation of EIA by FDI projects in Addis Ababa. To get out of these chall enges and further improve the implementation of EIA; strengthening the legal foundation of EIA, improving the institutional capacity of EPA and the institutional sy nergy between EPA and licensing agencies, and establi shing enforcement mechani sms necessary to ensure the implementation of genuine public participation are recommended.



Environmental Impact Assessment Law