National EIA System Upgrade and Re-categorization

The governments of Egypt and Denmark initiated the Environmental Sector Program (ESP) in 2001, which included six components, one being Decentralized Environmental Management. Environics was contracted under this component to provide consultancy to the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) on strengthening the decentralization of environmental management and streamlining the environmental dimension in licensing requirements. This entailed focusing on redirecting the efforts of EEAA’s Central Department for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to enhance and better manage the EIA system. In this context, Environics was commissioned to upgrade and re-categorize the national EIA system.

Based on the knowledge and experiences accumulated over a decade, and analyses of the capabilities of both the regulators and service providers, Environics carried out this assignment, which resulted in a new, integrated EIA system for projects of various sizes and sectors that took into account the required capacity building for the EMUs. Environics developed Guidelines for the Basis and Procedures of EIA, Guidelines for Investors to Complete EIA Forms A and B, and Guidelines for EMUs to Include Special Environmental Conditions in the Licensing System.

Environics started this assignment by conducting workshops for the Central Department for EIA and the Environmental Management Units (EMUs) to present and discuss the EIA system and its re-categorization criteria, the suggested modifications, and the implementation measures.

Based on the recommendations of these workshops, Environics undertook the following:
– Develop a report entitled “The Re-categorization of the EIA System for Projects.” This report provided a legal background for the re-categorization; presented the re-categorization and reassessment criteria and processes, and suggested new EIA forms. – Propose a system for following up, assessing, and developing the implementation of the special environmental conditions of re-categorization.
– Provide training for the EMUs on the re-categorization process and its legislative framework; the special environmental conditions system and the incorporation of the conditions in the licensing procedures; follow-up and inspection procedures for facilities under the new conditions and re-categorization, and the coordination between the EEAA and the CAAs for the implementation and development of the special conditions. This training ensured the involvement of the EMUs in the process and that their feedback was considered.

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