NATIONAL Environment Management Council (NEMC) has devised a guideline to effectively manage oil and gas sub-sectors.
Speaking at a workshop to validate the National Strategic Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (SESIA), NEMC acting Director General, Dr Vedast Makota (pictured) said the draft guideline will be an important reference to guide the sectors and will mitigate hurdles encountered in executing SESIA. He said the document, which has been developed by a consultant from India will be used as guideline in all aspects of oil and natural gas from upstream, midstream and downstream operations.
"The document will help all players to evaluate and accommodate concerns, issues and operations to foster sustainable development in all aspects of oil and gas," he said. Dr Makota said the guideline will provide a benchmark for assessing the cumulative environmental and social effects with other ongoing sector programmes in both the terrestrial and marine environment.
"This should not be confused with Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) since its purpose is to determine and evaluate environmental implications of development and inform decision makers," he said. The role of SESIA, he said, is to allow decision makers to proactively determine the most suitable development type for particular area, before development proposals are formulated.
Most of the workshop participants hailed the document as an important milestone to mainstream SESIA and guide for the government to ensure that the public benefit positively from oil and gas investments.
"There is need to create an accountability mechanism on the part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to ensure that money declared for CSR is not exaggerated by the oil and gas companies," said Mr John Ngeleja.
Others suggested that most of the unforeseen environmental challenges like possible oil spiral over to the ocean or water bodies should be included in the guidelines before hand. The draft guidelines have been developed by Asian Consulting Enterprise with financial resources from the World Bank.
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Publish date : 2018-04-05 11:51:11