The purpose of EIA is to ensure the protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources including human health aspects against uncontrolled development. The long-term objective is to ensure a sustainable economic development that meets present needs without compromising future generations ability to meet their own needs. EIA is an important tool in the integrated environmental management approach.
EIA must be performed for new establishments or projects and for expansions or renovations of existing establishments according to the Law for the Environment.
Law No. 4 states that the environmental impact of certain establishments or projects must be evaluated before any construction works are initiated or a license is issued by the competent administrative authority or licensing authority.
The Executive Regulations relating to Law No. 4 identifies establishments or projects which must be subjected to an Environmental Impact Assessment based upon the following main principles:
The number of projects subject to this provision are many and will form a heavy burden to administrative authorities and the EEAA. A flexible system for the management of EIA projects has therefore been developed in order to use limited economic and technical resources in the best possible way.
The system encompasses a flexible screening system and projects are classified into three groups or classes reflecting different levels of environmental impact assessment according to severity of possible environmental impacts.
The list approach depends on screening projects into three categories based on different levels of EIA required according to severity of possible environmental impacts as follows:
N.B. Screening projects/establishments into three categories is a guide for the EIA. It is not exhaustive lists but examples.
The classifications may be adjusted by the EEAA in accordance with experience gathered. If a project can not be classified in any of the three categories the developer must approach the EEAA for advice.
The decision taken by the authorities regarding the assessment and/or the proposals required to be implemented as considered necessary by the EEAA can be appealed to the Permanent Appeals Committee by developer within 30 days after receiving such decision. The classification according to environmental impacts of the projects ("A", "B" or "C") cannot be appealed.
Please refer to the Guidelines of Principles and Procedures for EIA for details.
Guidelines of Principles and Procedures for EIA (2nd Edition - January 2009) (English) - (Arabic)