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Environmental Impact Assessment Training and Capacity Building Programme

Environmental Impact Assessment Training and Capacity Building Programme
Environmental Impact Assessment Training and Capacity Building Programme

Environmental Impact Assessment Training and Capacity Building Programme

The legislated tool that is most commonly used to assess potential impacts of development and land transformation activities on our environment, in order to achieve sustainable development, is Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). EIA is a process that is supposed to reflect the democratic rights afforded to South African citizens through the country’s constitution. However, too often public participation in the Environmental Impact Assessment process and the right to contribute meaningfully in decision-making is not well represented. In addition, EIA has become exceedingly complicated and disempowering to the lay person.

As a result of this, the Environmental Impact Assessment Training and Capacity Programme was started in 2008. The project has been responsible for many courses across five provinces and has engaged with nearly 400 course participants from diverse sectors of society. These have included for example, tertiary institutions, city councillors, developers, NGOs, WESSA members, architects, planners, private environmental organisations, National, Provincial and Local government staff. The project has engaged with Environmental Assessment at many different levels including the development of EIA resources, the promotion of best practice and Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) at a professional level, macro-planning tools, commenting on policy as well as direct involvement in a number of EIAs. The project continues to gain momentum which reflects peoples interest in wanting to participate more in caring for the Earth.

The Environmental Impact Assessment Training and Capacity Building Programme, implemented by WESSA, is funded by the Maas Maassen Fund through WWF-SA and supported by the Mazda Wildlife Fund. WESSA would like to thank all those that have contributed to making this project effective and successful.


Delegates on the first EIA course, presented by WESSA’s Western Cape regionsl office in January 2009. Bryony Walmsley, from the Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA) points out development across Cape Town.

Project contact details:
Chris Galliers
Tel 033 330 3931 ext. 128
E-mail chris@wessa.co.za

Information courtesy of WESSA South Africa