Environmental impact assessment as a device for the protection and management to the environment : a study in comparative perspective
This dissertation is concerned with the role of Environmental Impact Assessment as a device for the management and- protection of the environment. The central theme of the thesis is how to protect and manage the environment effectively, while still taking into account the development paradigm. It is an attempt to address the question of sustainable development. The environmental problems addressed by the thesis are those caused by industrial development, namely, air and water pollution. It is argued that, without ,any anticipatory mechanism, these problems will persist. It is proposed that Environmental Impact Assessment be introduced as an anticipatory approach. to development planning: Chapter 1 examines the conceptual basis for environmental management. The central concepts cons.idered include environment, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and sustainable development. . The development of environmental management is considered in a historical context. The chapter also evaluates some of the devices that can be used to manage the environment. These include the common law principles, legislation, economic devices and EIA. A detailed examination of the EIA process and its methods and benefits is undertaken. This chapter is concluded. by recommending EIA as a device for initiatives in pursuit of sustainable development. Chapter 2 identifies the major environmental problems facing Kenya today. It then proceeds to examine environmental management policy in general, and in particular with regard to EIA. The next section identifies and describes the legal and institutional arrangements for environmental protection, with special reference to industrial pollution. The chapter evaluates the role of the National Environment Secretariat (NES) in the promotion of EIA in Kenya. It demonstrates that the degree to which EIA is effective hinges significantly on institutional structures, and the planning process. Case studies are used to evaluate the response of the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority to EIA, in its water resource development activities. These case studies are used to illustrate strategies employed by NES to legitimize EIA policies and practices. Obstacles to effective implementation of EIA under NES are examined. The chapter has a section partly devoted to the National Environment Action Plan Process (NEAP), currently underway in Kenya. It gives a brief description of the NEAP process and considers the NEAP report and recommendations. Chapter 3 is concerned with comparative issues on EIA. The chapter compares and contrasts the Kenyan experience with EIA implementation, with that of other countries, and proceeds to identify the manner in which and the extent to which the experiences of these other countries can be applied in the Kenyan context. Chapter 4 brings together the main argument of the thesis and makes suggestions on the application of EIA in Kenya.