Integrating EIA into Existing Project Planning and Approval Process
3.1 PUBLIC-SECTOR PROJECTS
The planning, evaluation and approval of public-sector projects in Malawi is administered by the National Economic Council. NEC's Project Planning Manual identifies a number of key stages in their approval process. Although the need to examine environmental impacts is indicated, clear guidelines and procedures for doing so are absent. Thus, it is vital that NEC's approval process and the EIA process be effectively integrated so that EIA contribute materially to the development of public-sector projects without hindering the approval process.
The relationship between the two processes, and the complementarily of their information and documentation requirements, was indicated in Chapter 2 above and is elaborated below. This relationship is in the early stages of its development and it must be recognized that as experience with EIA in Malawi grows, the modalities of the relationship will become better developed and streamlined through practice. Thus, it is expected that future editions of these guidelines will provide more detailed and "field tested" procedures for ensuring that EIA contributes effectively to the planning and approval of public-sector projects.
The relationship of the two processes is discussed below by describing
the stages of NEC's process, in italics, and the relationship with the
EAD's EIA process.
During the preparation of PCPs and PSDs, executing agencies should consider
the possible environmental effects of their projects, measures to avoid
or minimize those effects, and whether a project is prescribed under the
EMA. If necessary, a "Mini EIA" might be considered for some projects before
the PSD is prepared and submitted to NEC. Early consultations with DEA
will help to clarify potential EIA needs for projects.
(a) reject the project, in which case the proposal lapses;
(b) refer the PSD back to the executing agency for further preparatory work and re-submission to NEC;
(c) fund a pre-feasibility study, at which point the project moves to Stage 3; or
(d) include the project in the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) for a feasibility study, at which point the project moves to Stage 4.
If the decision is (c) or (d), and the project is on the list of prescribed
projects, the Secretary for NEC (SNEC) refers the project to the Director
of Environmental Affairs to satisfy the latter 's requirement for a Project
Brief. The Director determines whether an EIA is required for the project
and conveys his/her decision to the SNEC and the executing agency.
(a) rejected; or
(b) referred back to the executing agency for further preparatory work and re-submission to NEC; or
(c) included in the PSIP for a full feasibility study/design with the expectation of being implemented, at which point the project moves to Stage 4.
If the project requires an EIA, it is carried out concurrently with the pre-feasibility study and the EIA report is submitted to the Director. The Director 's decision on the EIA and project is conveyed to the executing agency and the SNEC.
NEC's re-evaluation of the project takes into account both the pre-feasibility and EIA reports, and the Director's decision based on the EIA report. If the Director has decided:
(a) that the project is rejected or must be redesigned and the EIA redone, NEC either rejects the project or refers it back to the executing agency for further work on both the pre-feasibility study and the EIA; or
(b) that the project is approved, NEC includes the project in the feasibility study, it instructs the executing agency to take full account of the EIA approval terms and conditions in the feasibility study and, when the project is implemented, to incorporate them into the appropriate licences.
Stage 4: Feasibility Study
Stage 5: Appraisal
In practice, it is unusual for a project to be dropped from the PSIP at this stage.
NEC's appraisal of the project is based on the PDD, and EIA report and the Director's decision, including any approval terms and conditions. If the Director has decided:
(a) that the project is rejected or must be redesigned and the EIA redone, NEC either rejects the project or refers it back to the executing agency for further work on both the feasibility and EIA studies; or
(b) that the project is approved, NEC approves the project for implementation, it instructs the executing agency to incorporate the Director's approval terms and conditions into the project plan and appropriate licences.
When NEC approves the project for implementation, the Director requests the TCE to develop and implement a government project audit and monitoring programme.
Stages 6, 7 and 8: Implementation
The TCE monitors the implementation of the government project audit
programme, facilitate its success, and reports on its progress to the Director.
Even though private sector projects have certain distinct characteristics from those of the public sector, the life cycle is quite similar. The EIA process shall be integrated in their cycle as in Figure 1.1 of these guidelines. In principle these projects will follow the same EIA procedures as defined in Figure 2.1 of these guidelines.
A developer will prepare a project brief for submission to the Director through a licensing authority. If, in view of the licensing authority, there is no EIA requirement for the project, the authority should submit a copy of the license and brief to the Director for record and monitoring purposes.
The time frames and tasks that will apply in the approval process are given in Section 2.2 of these guidelines. The specific EIA process for the private sector projects shall be as follows:
Stage 1: Identification and Submission
Stage 2: Pre-appraisal
Stage 3: Feasibility
Stage 4: Appraisal
The EAD should develop an audit programme based on Stage 3 above.
Stages 5 and 6: Activation, Implementation
The EAD and TCE will work with MIPA and the licensing authorities (e.g.
local authorities) to ensure
Foreword | Preface | Contents | Acknowlegdements | Acronyms | Glossary
Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | References
Appendices | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | Annex I