Environmental Impact Assessment Manual and Workshops in Latin America

When: 1994, 1996

Where: Mexico, Paraguay

What: Developing Technical Skills

Key objectives

  • To assist electricity project developers in mastering Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) techniques and models for a range of major electricity projects
  • To further ensure the transfer of skills and training of EIA by publishing the Environmental Impact Assessment Manual - An Electric Utility Overview in June 1997 to present an overview of the EIA process applied to electricity projects and the role EIA must play in project decision-making and implementation

When: 1994, 1996

Where: Mexico, Paraguay

What: Developing Technical Skills

We developed a training workshop program to increase awareness and promote the benefits of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) techniques by assisting electricity project developers (utilities and/or government authorities) in identifying and estimating environmental impacts for a range of major energy projects and defining an EIA process model that meets the requirements of international funding and development organizations. The GSEP’s EIA workshops dealt with the full scope of the EIA process related to electricity system planning and development, including:

  • Integrated resource planning, designing and carrying out environmental assessments
  • Government and public reviews and panel hearings and public consultation
  • Socio-economic impact assessment
  • Project management and managing environmental issues associated with facility construction and operation

We conducted nine workshops in seven countries targeting different regions of the world. Three of them took place in Latin America:

  • Environmental Management Workshop for Hydroelectric Generation Facilities (Mexico City, Mexico, September 21-23, 1994), in cooperation with Comisión Federal de Electricidad
  • Environmental Management Workshop for Hydroelectric Generation Facilities (Asunción, Paraguay, October 28-31, 1996), in cooperation with the Vice-Ministry of Mines and Energy of Paraguay and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  • Environmental Management Workshop for Thermoelectric Generation Facilities (Mexico City, Mexico, November 5-8, 1996), in cooperation with Comisión Federal de Electricidad

Other workshops were conducted in Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia

All of our EIA workshops were presented by a team of GSEP member company experts in partnership with the host utility or authority. The workshops were filled with presentations, exercises, and discussions. Participants came from utilities, governments, academia, and NGOs. Local case studies, where possible, were utilized to demonstrate EIA process elements and to provide greater relevance to the host country.

The workshops provided a vehicle for educating planners and project developers in host countries about the EIA process and its role in energy sector project decision-making and implementation (mainly electricity projects). The workshops also helped many developing countries fulfill the prerequisite that many development banks require: the integration of an environmental component into their loan requests.

The workshops drew on the collective experience within the GSEP in dealing with EIA requirements and in the processes for electrical utility projects developed worldwide. Feedback from these workshops was very positive.

Following the success of these workshops, we published the Environmental Impact Assessment Manual - An Electric Utility Overview in June 1997 to present an overview of the EIA process applied to electricity projects and the role EIA must play in project decision-making and implementation.

Participating members and partners

  • All members
  • Comisión Federal de Electricidad of Mexico
  • Vice-Ministry of Mines and Energy of Paraguay
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
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