Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)..Objectives and Benefits
Environmental Impact is defined as the change in the environment resulting from human activity. The Environmental impact assessment is performed by inspection, analysis and assessment of scheduled activities to ensure environmentally safe and sustainable development and foresee potential consequences together with the mitigation measures. Hence, its importance as an early warning for potential environmental issues arises from the project.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is considered a tool for taking environmental consideration into account at decision making processes and provides a regulatory frame and informative basis regarding activities that affect the environment. The main focus of Environmental Impact Assessment for a project is the extent of its effect on the natural environment:
- Effects on water and air quality.
- Plant cover and animals.
However, with the increase of awareness of the necessity of studying and evaluating Environmental Impact Assessment for any project, the expected health, social, and economic effects are incorporated in the assessment process.
Environmental Impact objectives are divided into two major categories:
- Short term to inform the decision maker of the expected environmental impacts and the potential risks in proposed development projects.
- Long Term which enables us to achieve sustainable results by ensuring that the proposed development projects poses no threat to ecological systems or any of its critical resources which can adversely impact the lifestyle and welfare of societies who rely on such resources in their livelihood.
The Assessment Process should be based on three main points:
o Integration: The assessment is performed according to international criteria and requirements.
o Utilities: the assessment shall provide sufficient reliable data about environment and development which help in decision making.
o Sustainability: the assessment shall lead to implementation of preventive measures to mitigate projects environmental impacts and avoid loss of ecological species and systems which contribute in environmental protection in order to achieve sustainable development.
The success achieved by the Royal Commission in the management of mega projects in its industrial cities is due to the guidance of Allah, then to the organization's leadership making the necessary arrangements and utilizing all international technologies and research. A comprehensive ecological survey was performed in Jubail Industrial City prior to its establishment in order to make the master plan of the city for all industrial and service activities in line with the ecological components without damaging it or consumption of available resources in an unsustainable manner. This is in addition to the prerequisite of Environmental Impact Assessment for any project prior to its establishment.
All of these placed Jubail Industrial City due to its comprehensive infrastructures and services among the international investments most attractive cities.