Comparative analysis using EIA for developed and developing coutnries case studies of hydroelectric power plants in Pakistan, Norway and Sweden
Journal article, 2011
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is an important legislative and scientific tool that may assist and improve the quality assistance for the decision-making process in sustainable development. Here, a comparison of EIAs from three cases of hydropower projects in Pakistan, Norway and Sweden is reported. A huge difference concerning the incorporation of environmental considerations into the decisionmaking process between developed and developing countries is observed. The EIA system of Pakistan appears to be less efficient in the application and review process. In addition, the appraisal of issues, the decision-making process and evaluation through post-monitoring is not as well performed in Pakistan as in cases of hydroelectric power plants in Sweden and Norway. The key reason for this shortcoming is misconceptions about the EIA process, which initially receives intense attention but becomes weakened by the time of implementation. This implies that there is a need to adopt simplified and flexible EIA techniques suitable for the infrastructure and resources of a specific country, taking into account institutional, technical and financial constraints. Improvements are required in public participation, awareness, as well as in environmental control and data system sectors in Pakistan, besides simply enacting legislation to achieve the goals of the EIA system.