Terms of Reference for the Development of a Regional Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)

Terms of Reference for the Development of a Regional Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)

Terms of reference for the development of a regional environment impact assessment (EIA) FRAMEWORK for the igad region


The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) was created in 1986 to coordinate member states' efforts in combating drought and desertification and mitigating their consequences. Soon after its creation, the Authority embarked on the development of the IGAD Environment Strategy to fight against drought and desertification. In 1996, IGAD was revitalized and its mandate was expanded to:

  • Food Security and Environment Protection,
  • Economic Cooperation and Social Development
  • Peace and Security and Humanitarian Affairs

The Charter establishing IGAD, particularly Article 13A of the Charter, specifies the broad areas of co-operation among Member States in the above mandate areas. In the environment sector, IGAD countries agreed to foster their co-operation to:

  • preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment
  • ensure the protection and prudent utilization of the environment including transboundary environmental resources
  • sustainable management of transboundary challenges and problems
  • develop harmonious environment protection strategies and policies
  • strengthen meteorological, hydrological and seismological services and networks
  • harmonize existing national plans. of action for marginal and dry land protection

In implementing its mandate, IGAD developed a number of strategies such as the IGAD Environment and Natural Resources Management Strategy, Sub-regional Action Programmes to implement global Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) and the Sub-regional Environment Action Plan (SREAP) to implement the Environment Component of NEPAD. In addition, IGAD also developed and implemented a number of programmes and projects and produced an IGAD Environment Outlook Report. The current exercise will assist IGAD to develop a regional environment impact assessment framework to stem off negative impacts of national and regional development interventions on the environment in the region.


The revitalization of IGAD provided an opportunity for the member states to strengthen their regional functional and economic integration. IGAD developed regional frameworks on agriculture, natural resources, food security and environment as key pillars to support and complement national efforts on development issues and to promote regional integration.The Summit Decision of 2008 further directed IGAD embarked on the development and implementation of an IGAD Minimum Integration Plan (MIP) which would among others interventions lead into creation of an IGAD Free Trade Area (FTA) to facilitate trade throughout the region. In addition, IGAD further recognized the importance of infrastructure, namely transport, industry and ICT and developed regional frameworks to promote regional integration and economic growth and development of IGAD Member States.

Regional integration and national and regional frameworks and policies to promote it have profound impacts on the integrity of the environment and its environmental resources. National and regional aspirations for sustainable development are linked to the integrity of the natural resources and the environment. A healthy environment is critical to the success of the region’s political and economic integration agenda. It is therefore crucial to conserve and sustainably use the environmental assets not only for the integrity of ecosystems but also as a sustainable resource to support regional integration. Addressing the negative environmental impacts of national and regional development interventions is critical to the success of regional integration.

In addition, the IGADis faced with the challenge of facilitating its member states to meet the global commitments of the Millennium Development Goals. Meeting these goals in the coming years requires that environmental and social concerns are taken into account when planning any economic intervention and become key elements for any economic development. In this regard, effective measures to assess environmental impacts of national and regional mega projects and obtaining their negative and positive effects on the environment are essential. This is true in particular when regulating mega projects in shared watersheds, which demand modern and precise instruments to take action against damages to the environment and other social and economic elements common to the region. Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is therefore one such a tool that can be used to stem off negative environmental impacts and promote the positives ones. This however requires the availability and use of harmonized EIA systems at national and regional levels. The use of EIA/Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) provides an opportunity to improve the quality and integrity of the environment by ensuring the sustainable production of the goods and services that are so essential for regional trade and integration in the IGAD region.

Objective of the Consultancy Service

The IGAD region is endowed with substantial environmental resources which are threatened by massive degradation. It is believed that if proper protection and management measures are taken, the degraded environmental resources are resilient and would regain their past productivity. This chance should be exploited by IGAD member states to propel new economic growth in the region. In this regard, IGAD member states have to intensify their cooperation to reverse the situation through monitoring and undertaking increased environmental impact assessments in line with policies and legislatives and other regulatory frameworks both at national and regional levels. EIA/SEA is an internationally recognized tool to guide developers and environmentalists in the region on a path to sustainable development. EIA/SEA would also enhance IGAD’s efforts to integrate environmental concerns into development frameworks to promote environmentally sustainable economic development in the region in line with the objectives of the IGAD mandate, the IGAD Strategy, Agenda 21, Decisions of the WSSD, MDG, African and IGAD Environment Outlook reports and NEPAD.

EIA / SEA at the regional and national levels are instruments used to improve the decision making process by introducing environmental responsibility in the development and implementation of projects, plans, policies, and programs. The development of such regional EIA/SEA frameworksshall promote:

  • public participation as a vital instrument in decision making and policy reform
  • economic growth and development with social equity and environmental responsibility
  • sustainable development in the region as a means of promoting poverty reduction
  • efficiency and effectiveness of environmental managment
  • strengthening of municipalities, regional offices for natural resource conservation, and autonomous indigenous communities or organizations
  • Cooperation in EIA at regional level for shared ecosystems

The proposed IGAD regional environment assessment framework should take into account experiences and best practices in member states, other regional organizations, international organizations such as ADB, World Bank, EU, etc. The objective of the EIA/SEAframework is to ensure that national and regional investments / interventions are environmentally sound and that any issues of concern relating to the biological, physical, and socioeconomic environments are recognized early and are considered during the design of the development intervention.

Scope of Work

The development of an EIAis an evolving process. When developing an EIA system, there is a need to build upon the experience of others and to move towards legal and policy frameworks that support environmental sustainability. The development of an IGAD EIA/SEAframework should follow such a process. The scope of work in the development of this framework EIA/SEA is therefore to:

  • assess existing EIA frameworks at national and regional levels,
  • develop a regional harmonized EIA system based on the assessment results and experiences of others,
  • undertake consultative meetings at national and regional levels to discuss the EIA and prepare the final legal and policy EIA frameworks and guidelines, and
  • testing of harmonized EIA systems through pilot national and regional projects.

Validation of the harmonized EIA system and building capacity of member states and other actors (civil society, private sector) should also be major component of the consultancy. The harmonized EIA/SEA should be acceptable to all actors at regional, national, sectoral and local levels. The specific activities in developing the regional EIA framework would include:

  • clearly establishing the goals and objectives of the EIA process;
  • reviewing EIA systems established in member states and other regional organizations, especially those that are similar in nature and level of development;
  • identifying, and catering for, international obligations and commitments such as those arising from ratified MEAs and subsequent Protocols;
  • learning from the experience of others (World Bank, EU, ADB, etc);
  • incorporating features that will facilitate the move towards sustainability;
  • identifying appropriate standards and procedures;
  • developing trial guidelines to test the system in practice;
  • drafting or revising the legislation to implement the necessary changes; and
  • incorporating measures to appropriately monitor and review the EIA process to ensure that it is working as intended, and, where necessary, adapt it to meet new requirements and needs of the countries and the region
  • Putting in place an authority responsible for overseeing the implementation of EIA procedure;
  • ensuring public participation,


In developing the IGAD regional environment assessment framework, the consultant will follow the following 3 phases:

Phase I – Assessment and Review of EIA Status

This phase would include the following activities:

1.Assess and review exiting IGAD documents, inter-alia:

  • IGAD environment natural resources strategy
  • IGAD food Security Strategy
  • IGAD Strategy to implement its mandate
  • IGAD Strategy implementation Plan
  • IGAD project documents on on-going programmes and project; and
  • Other IGAD documents and studies

2.Review the objectives Agenda 21, WSSD, MDG, NEPAD as they relate to environment impact assessment framework

3.Assess and review environment strategies EIA practices in all member states through the use of national consultants

4.Review the experiences of other similar organizations (RECs) and assess if there are good practices that could be replicated in the IGAD region

5.Assess and review experiences of ADB, World Bank, UNEP, etc. on EIA and use best practices in the development of the IGAD EIA framework.

Phase II – Strengthening and Development national and regions EIA systems

This phase will include

  1. strengthening of national EIA systems
  2. development of a regional harmonized EIA system based on the assessment and findings in phase one,
  3. involvement of key stakeholders in the development of EIA systems by organizing national and regional workshops

Phase III – Validation and Finalization of EIA Framework

This phase consists of:

  1. testing and validating the regional harmonized EIA system in assessing environment impacts of regional pilot projects
  2. organizing regional workshops to review and endorse harmonized EIA/SEA
  3. Finalizing the IGAD regional harmonized EIA framework by incorporating comments gathered from the regional workshop and the required legislative and regulatory considerations. The final EIA framework shall have the following contents:

1. An executive summary

2. A description of the intervention

3. A description of the environment ( physical-, biological-, and socioeconomic environment)

4. Legislative and regulatory considerations

5. An assessment of environmental and socioeconomic impacts of intervention

6. An analysis of alternatives

7. Recommended mitigation measures, environmental and socioeconomic management, and training requirements

8. An assessment of capacity to implement EIA recommendations at regional, national, sectoral land local levels

9. Monitoring program provisions - A plan to monitor the implementation of mitigation measures and the impacts of the intervention

10. Inter-agency coordination and public/NGO participation

Expected Outputs

The expected outputs include:

  1. The assessment report on current IGAD and member states' environment impact assessment frameworks / policies
  2. Report on IGAD member states EIA frameworks
  3. A harmonized regional EIA framework for activities and investments that affect trans-boundarynatural resources
  4. strengthen the capacities of the member states on application of EIA framework
  5. strengthen civil society and the private sector in the use of the regionally harmonized EIA framework
  6. National and regional workshop reports

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes include:

  1. IGAD and its Specialized Centers, Government institutions, local governments, civil society organizations and other users efficiently and effectively apply harmonized EIA systems across the IGAD region
  2. Efficient and effective and harmonized EIA systems are understood as those tools that take into account social participation, gender equity, poverty alleviation, and inclusion of environmental considerations at early stages of the intervention process

Expertise Required

IGAD therefore need to engage a competent consultant in the area of environment impact assessment at national and regional levels. The consultant should have vast knowledge of the environmental situation of the IGAD region as well as environmental concerns / emerging issue. The expert should posses a minimum of Masters Degree in environment, natural sciences and agriculture related fields and 7 years experience, with at least 3 years in development and implementation of EIA frameworks. The consultant should be conversant with:

  • systematic procedures for EIA development and implementation, quality control, compliance and enforcement;
  • integrated consideration of biophysical, social, risk, health and other impacts;
  • extended temporal and spatial frameworks, which include cumulative, trans-boundary and ecosystem-level effects and, to a lesser extent, global change;
  • increasing provision for strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of policy, plan and programme proposals;
  • Incorporation of sustainability perspectives and principles into EIA and SEA processes.

Work Plan and Timetable

The study is expected to start in early January 2011 and end by December 2011. The consultant will have 90 person-days for the whole exercise spread throughout the year 2011. The consultant will submit an inception report to be presented, discussed and approved by IGAD.This will form the basis for future activities upon consultation with IGAD Secretariat and the environment management institutions in the member states. IGAD Secretariat, supported by environment management institutions in each of the member states, will facilitate the mission of the consultant.

Reporting and Feedback

The consultant is required to submit to IGAD a draft intermediary report at the end of visits to the member states and other sub-regional, regional and international organizations currently active in the use of environment impact assessment frameworks. Comments by IGAD Secretariat will be delivered to him/it latest one week after their submission.

The consultant shall submit a draft final report latest two weeks after the end of the assessment. This draft report will be distributed to participants of the national workshops. A regional workshop will be scheduled for early June 2011 to validate and endorse the report. The expert/firm is required to present the draft strategy at the regional workshop, compile comments from participants, incorporate comments finalize report and submit it to IGAD Secretariat, latest 15 days after the date of the regional workshop.


The consultant will be paid a sum of US$45000 (United States dollars forty five thousand) for the whole exercise in tranches applicable to IGAD financial regulations. The consultantwill be paid DSA of US$200/day for the days he/she spends visiting IGAD countries other than his country of residence for a maximum of 25-30 days. Furthermore, the consultant will be provided with an economy class return ticket from his residence to Djibouti and an economy class air ticket at the beginning to visit member states.In addition, DSA and a round trip economy class air ticket will be provided to him for his participation in the regional workshop.