African Experts Workshop on the Effectiveness of Environmental Impact Assessment Systems

Over 12–13 April 2007, CLEAA and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) co-sponsored an experts’ workshop on the effectiveness of EIA systems in Africa, with a special focus on issues of the quality and financial sustainability of EIA review, follow-up and compliance. Effective EIA systems are essential to sound environmental governance and sustainable development in Africa, and these issues in particular are challenges to EIA effectiveness on much of the continent. The workshop brought together regulators, practitioners, donors, and partner institutions engaged in efforts to increase EIA effectiveness on the continent.

Held in Addis Ababa, this meeting provided a platform to review the recommendations made by the ECA study “Review of the Application of Environmental Assessment in Selected African Countries” (2005). The workshop built on and went beyond the ECA study, identifying and endorsing specific, feasible technical approaches and concrete government, donor and partner actions and priorities to enhance EIA effectiveness. Critical recommendations were agreed in six different areas for action. In addition, the workshop provided an opportunity to strengthen networks and partnerships in environmental assessment and management in Africa.
CLEAA and ECA’s Food Security and Sustainable Development Division are together endeavoring to table the workshop recommendations before key multilateral fora for formal endorsement.

An ENCAP grant to IUCN/EARO funded the CLEAA contributions to the workshop. Additional support was provided by ECA, the co-sponsor, and the Government of the Netherlands.