Every anthropogenic activity has some impact on the environment. More often it is harmful to the environment than benign. However mankind as it is developed today cannot live without taking up these activities for his food, security and other needs. Consequently, there is a need to harmonies developments activities with be environmental concerns. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is one of the tools available with the planners to achieve the above-mentioned goal.
It is desirable to ensure that the development options under consideration are sustainable. In doing so, environmental consequences must be characterized early in the project cycle and accounted for in the project design.
The objective of EIA is to foresee the potential environmental problems that would arise out of a proposed development and address them in the project’s planning and design stage. The EIA process should then allow for the communication of this information to:
- the project proponent;
- the regulatory agencies; and,
- all stakeholders and interest groups.
EIA integrates the environment concerns in the developmental activities right at the time of initiating for preparing the feasibility report. In doing so it can enable the integration of environmental concerns and mitigation measures in project development. EIA can often prevent future liabilities or expensive alterations in project design.