In recent years, economic liberalisation, improved transport and communication systems, and the global demand for energy, minerals and agricultural commodities have fostered investment in agriculture, mining and petroleum projects in many lower- and middle-income countries. Increased investment may create opportunities to promote sustainable development and improve living standards in recipient countries, but it also creates risks. This guide discusses options to structure investment contracts in ways that maximise the investment’s contribution to sustainable development. The focus is on foreign investment in the natural resource sector and on lower- and middleincome countries. The guide draws on test trainings in Ghana and Central Asia and aims to provide up-to-date and comprehensive learning material for both host governments and civil society. It can be used as a background document for training sessions, but it may also be used by readers accessing the material on their own.
“A workshop on ”Assessing and managing environmental and social aspects of petroleum activities” was held at the Government Buildings in Oslo on 25 November 2010. The purpose was to present and discuss various approaches and tool that could be useful for developing countries to apply in their petroleum and environment government efforts, including environmental and social impact assessment (strategic and project), integrated management planning, land use and spatial planning, data requirements, methodologies etc. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and The Netherlands Commission for Impact Assessment with support from the Oil for Development Programme. Participants included government staff regularly working with these issues in the Oil for Development context, Petrad, NGOs and consultants and academics.
Legal instruments from nine countries, representative of developed, developing, and middle income countries from various regions (and based on availability of information) were examined. These countries are Belize, Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Palestine, and South Africa.
Despite the paper’s limitations as a desk review of select legal frameworks that govern SEA nationally, a number of conclusions emerge from the analysis.
In this paper, we aim to better understand the factors that contribute to the substantive performance of EIA systems in low and middle income countries. Substantive performance is defined as the extent to which the EIA process contributes to the EIA objectives for the long term, namely environmental protection or, even more ambitious, sustainable development. We have therefore developed a conceptual model in which we focus on the key actors in the EIA system, the proponent and the EIA authority and their level of ownership as a key capacity to measure their performance, and we distinguish procedural performance and some contextual factors. This conceptual model is then verified and refined for the EIA phase and the EIA follow-up phase (permitting, monitoring and enforcement) by means of 12 case studies from Ghana (four cases) and Georgia (eight cases), both lower–middle income countries. We observe that in most cases the level of substantive performance increases during the EIA phase but drops during the EIA follow-up phase, and as a result only five out of 12 operational cases are in compliance with permit conditions or national environmental standards. We conclude, firstly that ownership of the proponent is the most important factor explaining the level of substantive performance; the higher the proponent's level of ownership the higher the level of substantive performance. The influence of the EIA authority on substantive performance is limited. Secondly, the influence of procedural performance on substantive performance seems less important than expected in the EIA phase but more important during the EIA follow-up phase.
In order to improve substantive performance we learned two lessons. Firstly, increasing the proponent's level of ownership seems obvious, but direct change is probably difficult. However, where international finance institutes are involved they can increase ownership. Despite the limited influence of the EIA authority, a proactive strategy of, for example, working together with international finance institutes has a slightly larger influence than a reactive strategy.