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Title: Appraising the value of independent EIA follow-up verifiers

Independent Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) follow-up verifiers such as monitoring agencies, checkers, supervisors and control officers are active on various construction sites across the world. There are, however, differing views on the value that these verifiers add and very limited learning in EIA has been drawn from independent verifiers. This paper aims to appraise how and to what extent independent EIA follow-up verifiers add value in major construction projects in the developing country context of South Africa. A framework for appraising the role of independent verifiers was established and four South African case studies were examined through a mixture of site visits, project document analysis, and interviews. Appraisal results were documented in the performance areas of: planning, doing, checking, acting, public participating and integration with other programs. The results indicate that independent verifiers add most value to major construction projects when involved with screening EIA requirements of new projects, allocation of financial and human resources, checking legal compliance, influencing implementation, reporting conformance results, community and stakeholder engagement, integration with self-responsibility programs such as environmental management systems (EMS), and controlling records. It was apparent that verifiers could be more creatively utilized in pre-construction preparation, providing feedback of knowledge into assessment ofmore » new projects, giving input to the planning and design phase of projects, and performance evaluation. The study confirms the benefits of proponent and regulator follow-up, specifically in having independent verifiers that disclose information, facilitate discussion among stakeholders, are adaptable and proactive, aid in the integration of EIA with other programs, and instill trust in EIA enforcement by conformance evaluation. Overall, the study provides insight on how to harness the learning opportunities arising from EIA follow-up through the appointment of independent verifiers. - Highlights: • A framework for appraising the role of independent verifiers is established. • The value added to EIA follow-up by independent verifiers in South Africa is documented. • Verifiers add most value when involved with screening, checking compliance, influencing decisions and community engagement. • Verifiers could be more creatively utilized in pre-construction preparation, giving feedback, and performance evaluation.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, North-West University, C/O Hoffman and Borcherd Street, Potchefstroom, 2520 (South Africa)
  2. (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22447515
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 50; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ALLOCATIONS; COMMUNITIES; COST ESTIMATION; DEVELOPING COUNTRIES; EARTH PLANET; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS; EVALUATION; GLOBAL ASPECTS; LEGAL ASPECTS; PERFORMANCE; SOUTH AFRICA