Stung Treng Province, 7th – 9th June 2016: NGO Forum on Cambodia with support from the USAID, PACT Cambodia, CDRI and Oxfam, in cooperation with Department of EIA of Ministry of Environment organized a second workshop to train key NGO members on how to develop information based on the fact and publishing report. There are 30 NGOs network Member from River Coalition of Cambodia (6 womens), NECA members and CSO on EIA working group.
The environmental impact assessment (EIA) process is a multistep procedure to ensure that environmental considerations are included in decisions making regarding projects that may impact the environment. It helps identify the possible environmental effects of a proposed activity and how those impacts can be mitigated. The purpose of the EIA process is to inform decision-makers and to promote transparency and public involvement of the environmental consequences by a proposed project implementation. The EIA document identifies, predicts, and analyzes impacts on the physical environment, as well as social, cultural, and health impacts. If the EIA process is successful, it identifies alternatives and mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impact of a proposed project.
Effective communication has its unique ability to communicate with the wider public to influence for good—it can play a vital role in cultivating a public engagement by raising awareness and promoting understanding of development to the public. Therefore, it is very crucial that the NGO members and community representatives understand well about the relevant laws and sub-decree and able to disseminate the effective messages to the public.
The primary objective of the second training workshop on the skills and knowledge on how to effectively using ICT on EIA cases as follows:
1) To review on concept of EIA, EIA process and EIA monitoring base on laws and regulation of Royal Government of Cambodia. To learn and monitor on Environmental Management Planning (EMP) of LS2 dam
2) To share good experiences of EIA monitoring on specific cases of EIA development and implementation with full public participation
3) To practice using EIA monitoring and citizen journalist and communication tools which including gender issue to make an action on “EIA monitoring” for each participants in local, national, and regional level through visit LS 2
4) To increase knowledge of different approaches to environmental assessment of policies and planning. It will also introduce method and tools for integrating to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) with strategic planning and decision making.
Mr. Ouk Vannara, Deputy Executive Director of NGO Forum on Cambodia; welcome PACT representatives from Thailand and NGOs network member who were presented. He raised current development projects in Cambodia that were needed involving from CSOs/NGOs and community representatives during the consultation steps. NGO Forum on Cambodia who are working closely with EIA department, played important role in studying advantages and disadvantages of development projects.
In recently, NGOs and community representatives are facing challenges such as: (1) limitation of capacity (2) no space for involvement (3) time constraint. NGO Forum on Cambodia is having a role to coordinates and provides capacity to CSO and NGOs as well as community members to have full ability to provide inputs and comment on drafting EIA and law during EIA working group meetings. Based on first training started last year, about 60% needed to build capacity on EIA that is the reasons of today training workshop.
In Three-day training workshop for all NGOs network will be refreshed and learn more about EIA process and how to monitoring based on development sites as well as sharing experiences and best practices on EIA process and next steps. A citizen journalist is new concept and effective mechanisms to monitor the development project and sharing information to the public. We are here today for working together and all the bests.
At the end of 3 days training workshop, the participant are very grateful and fruity result as our objectives. In general, we are achieved to training objectives, Firstly, the participants have ability to review on concept of EIA, EIA process and EIA monitoring based on laws and regulation of Royal Government of Cambodia. To learn and monitor on Environmental Management Planning (EMP) of LS2 dam throughout our field visit to the LS2 site. Secondly, they have chance to share previous experiences on EIA and development project by community. And the thirdly, participate grant new knowledge on SEA.