Businesses Urged to Conduct Environmental Impact Assessment

A good way for businesses to identify and possibly correct environment issues that may arise from their projects is by conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Chief of Policy and Planning Section Engr. Pura Pedrosa thus urges businesses to go through this process as a good environment practice.

An EIA is an interdisciplinary analysis of the natural, human health, and socio-cultural effects which are expected to result from public and private sector actions such as development projects.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Chief of Policy and Planning Section Engr. Pura Pedrosa urges

In line with the EMB’s efforts to standardize and streamline the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (PEISS) , Pedrosa said that the EMB has implemented Memorandum Circular No. 2011-005. This stipulates the technical guidelines in incorporating Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Concerns in the PEISS.

‘This will provide guidance for project proponents in integrating DRR and CCA concerns in the project planning stage through the EIA process to facilitate review and implementation of projects by incorporating international best practices.’ she added.

The said guidelines, she explained, is intended to promote climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction at the project level.

All projects are generally required to secure environmental clearance such as the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) prior to implementation of development projects. Meanwhile, requirements and processes vary depending if the project is outside the purview of the PEISS, an environmental-critical project (ECP) or located in an environmentally-critical area (ECA).

A project is considered as ECP if the said project is related to heavy industries such as non-ferrous metal industries, iron and steel mills, smelting plants and petroleum and petro-chemical industries; resource extractive industries such as major mining and quarrying projects, forestry and fishery projects; infrastructure projects such as major dams, power plants, reclamation projects and roads and bridges.

On the other hand, a project is considered located in an ECA if the project is located in areas for natural parks, wildlife preserve and sanctuaries, potential tourist spots, which constitute the habitat for any endangered or threatened species of indigenous Philippine wildlife, with critical slopes and the like.

According to the research of Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) last year, the Philippines is the most disaster-prone country in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, the country is the third most vulnerable worldwide. This is according to the report of the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Safety (UNU-EHS) conducted in the same year.

The report explained that this is due to the frequency of calamities such as typhoons, floods, landslides and earthquake, combined with the country’s ineffectual disaster preparedness program.

— Gelo Udaundo, REPOSTED FROM PHILEXPORT News and Features

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