The Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through the Environmental Monitoring and Governance (EMG) Programme carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) capacity building workshop in the Solomon Islands for the Environment and Conservation Division (ECD) of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM). The workshop was held at the Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation Conference Centre in Honiara town from 4-6 September, 2018
The EIA process is a principal instrument to support the achievement of sustainable development goals through a systematic process that assesses potential environmental impacts of development projects. SPREP has a long history of leading EIA capacity-building across the Pacific region in providing policy advice and technical assistance on EIA which includes EIA training and awareness-raising in SPREP Member countries.
The EIA workshop for Solomon Islands was initiated through a discussion between by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mechior Mataki and the EMG program to increase the level of understanding of the EIA process and its application in the Solomon Islands. The workshop was attended by staff of the Environment and Conservation Division (ECD), including representatives of key government agencies from infrastructure, health, mining, Solomon Water, Solomon Power, NGOs, private sector consultants and a media journalist from the Solomon Star.
Participants learnt the key aspects of an EIA process which include screening, scoping, review if EIA reports and setting of approval conditions. References were made to the Solomon Islands’ EIA guidelines and SPREP Regional EIA Guidelines as key resources for the training. The inputs from the EIA consultants who were part of the workshop helped clarify the roles in the EIA process and discussions have started on registering of EIA consultants in the review of the Environment Management Act.
Mr. Allen Kisi Ofea, Principal Environment Officer for Environment and Conservation Division said that the EIA training was very helpful in increasing his knowledge and confidence in carrying out his EIA responsibilities. “I am now starting to enjoy my work doing screening and reviewing project submissions”.
The SPREP Environment Planning Advisor, Ratu Jope Davetanivalu said, “I’m very pleased with the outcome of the capacity training as it has raised the knowledge of the participants in understanding their role in the EIA process and to help them improve on their environment planning.”
SPREP support and assistance on EIA capacity building is supported through the European Union initiated capacity building project titled, "Capacity Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries", implemented by UN Environment executed by SPREP. The project is managed through the Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme of SPREP.
To learn more about the ACPMEAs project, please visit http://www.sprep.org/Projects/acp-meas-project