Environmental Governance & Monitoring Headlines

Strong environmental impact assessment engagement in Republic of the Marshall Islands

Excellent engagement and interaction between trainers and participants, was the highlight of recent environmental impact assessment (EIA) training delivered by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) for the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The EIA training was organised in response to a snapshot survey of government staff and community stakeholders in 2015, which assessed EIA awareness levels and training requirements. The survey identified a need for general EIA capacity-building, so a comprehensive training program was developed to address this need, in consultation with the Republic of the Marshall Islands' Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

SAM 3315 edited 2EIA training workshop participants. Photo: SPREP

The training was based on the country's own legislation and EIA process, and included a series of practical exercises that introduced participants to important EIA steps such as screening development applications, developing terms of reference for EIA reports and reviewing EIA reports.

"With the Republic of the Marshall Islands facing serious climate change impacts and experiencing urban growth and development pressures across its limited land area, particularly in places like Majuro, the EIA process is an important tool to help the government meet its national priorities and commitments under multilateral environmental agreements, especially with regard to waste management, biodiversity protection and climate change" said Mr Jope Davetanivalu, SPREP's Planning and Capacity Development Adviser.

The EIA training workshop was attended by representatives from the EPA; Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office; Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority; Marshall Islands Visitors Authority; RMI Historic Preservation Office; Majuro Water and Sewer Company; Marshall Islands Mayors Association; and the Marshall Islands Conservation Society.

SAM 3329 editedEIA training group work presentations. Photo: SPREP

Ms Eseta Cama from the Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office stated that "The training was really educational and has increased my awareness of the EIA process. I enjoyed the practical exercises because they helped me to understand how EIA works".

The training facilitators were Mr Jope Davetanivalu and Ms Melanie Bradley from SPREP's Environmental Monitoring and Governance Division, with support from Mr Paul Anderson and Mr Kilom Ishiguro.

The European Union is acknowledged for providing financial assistance for the workshop, with support from the United Nations Environment Programme, through the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Multilateral Environmental Agreements 2 Project.

For more information please contact Ms Melanie Bradley of SPREP – melanieb@sprep.org.

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