Partnership for Africa’s Development
provides the vision for sustainable development on the African
continent. A key to its successful implementation is that
initiatives (projects, programmes, plans and policies) that flow out
from the implementation of NEPAD are aligned with the principles of
sustainable development. Positive
social, economic and environmental impacts need to be maximised and
negative impacts minimised. Good
governance is an essential enabling mechanism for sustainable
Impact Assessment is recognised internationally as a key tool to be
used in guiding us on the path to sustainable development.
Most countries in Africa have progressed significantly over
the past decade in the introduction of formal systems for the
implementation of EIA. Many
NEPAD initiatives, however, will be multi-project and transboundary
whilst others will be programmatic and of a policy nature.
EIA is not entirely suitable for these broader,
regional-scale types of decision making.
It is important that frameworks for sustainable development
such as those provided by Strategic Environmental Assessment be
applied in the execution of these types of initiatives.
is essential that in the application of Environmental Assessment,
practitioners, developers and decision makers ensure that the
important social and economic issues facing Africa are addressed
alongside the traditional biophysical issues.
It is also important that the use of strategic forms of
Environmental Assessment and sustainable development strategies is
encouraged. These tools
provide logical frameworks into which local, project-based issues
typically addressed by EIAs can find context.
African experts and knowledge organisations should lead the
development and implementation of these tools.