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Updated to: 26 September 2013Download as PDF
History of ESIA
After signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and the Government of Sudan in 2005, Southern Sudan became an autonomous region consisting of 10 states of Sudan. Under the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), the development of an environmental legal framework started. In 2010, an Environmental Policy and an Environmental Protection Bill were drafted. The Environmental Policy determines the need for systematic environmental impact assessment, audits, monitoring and evaluation to mitigate adverse impacts and enhance environmental benefits. It suggests the development of a legal framework and guidance for EIA. In 2011, South Sudan became independent. The drafts that had been developed by the GOSS before the independence, also apply for the newly formed state as no more recent legislation has been established yet. The EIA system is thus under development and has not yet been legally established.
Overview ESIA procedure
The EIA process is not legally established. The Draft Environmental Protection Bill of 2010 gives some indications on how the legal requirements for the EIA process are intended to be formulated. The available information on the steps of the EIA procedure is limited, but some provisions are made on Screening, the assessment process, the review process and on monitoring.
The Draft Environmental Protection Bill (2010) forsees that projects that require a certain level of EIA can be allocated to one of the following projects categories:
- Category A: projects that may have an impact on the environment
- Category B: projects that are likely to have significant impacts on the environment
- Category C: projects that will have a significant impact on the environment.
The Lead Agency decides about the likelihood of the impacts of the projects on the environment. Depending on the impact probability and scale, different levels of EIA are foreseen:
Category A projects require an Environmental Impact Review, Category B projects a Environmental Impact Evaluation and for projects of Category C a full Environmental Impact Statement has to be formulated. If the Environmental Impact Review or the Environmental Impact Evaluation reveal that the project will lead to significant impacts on the environment, the Lead Agency shall require that an Environmental Impact Statement is formulated for those projects as well.
The Draft Environmental Protection Bill (2010) implies that the EIA is conducted by an external expert who has been approved by the Ministry responsible for environmental issues. Guidelines are expected to be developed which determine the requirements for Environmental Impact Statements.
The EIS shall be made available to the Ministry, the Lead Agency or any person requesting it.
The Draft Environmental Protection Bill (2010) indicates that the Lead Agency will review the EIS in consultation with the Ministry responsible for environmental issues.
45 days are available for the review process, as the Draft Environmental Protection Bill indicates.
Integration of ESIA into decision-making
The Draft Environmental Protection Bill (2010) mentions that the proponent is required to take practical measures to ensure that the requirements of the EIS are complied with. It also mentions that the proponent shall submit quarterly and annual reports to the Ministry which describe the extent to which the operation of the project conforms with the statements made in the EIS. In case of undesirable effects that were not considered in the EIS, the proponent shall develop mitigation measures for them. He shall then prepare and submit an environmental audit report on those measures quarterly and annually or as otherwise required by the Authority. Moreover, the proponent shall conduct environmental audits in consultations with the Lead Agency.
Finally, environmental inspectors may enter any land or premises for the purpose of monitoring the compliance of the propnent with the statements made in the EIS.
Public participation requirements for ESIA process stages
Access to information
The Draft Environmental Protection Bill (2010) forsees that the EIS is a public document and that it is made available to any person upon payment of the prescribed fee.
Possibilities for appeal
An Environmental Protection Bill was drafted by GOSS in 2010 which forsees EIA. The Bill is not yet approved though and it is unclear if this will still happen considering the changing political circumstances.
National detailed regulation for ESIA
No regulations for EIA exist.
Central ESIA authority
The Draft of the Environmental Protection Bill (2010) forsees the Ministry responsible for environmental issue to have a central role in the EIA process, but also so-called Lead Agencies. These can be any ministry, directorate, department, parastatal agency, Local Government or public officer in which or in whom any law vests functions of control or management of any segment of the environment. This includes the Southern Sudan Environmental Management Authority indended to be established with Article 8 of the Bill.