The Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has the role of identifying, estimating and assessing the potential impact of a project upon the environmental, social and cultural conditions of the area where it will be implemented.
This type of study is generally developed in order to access financing sources. The studies must be prepared according to the international standards and guidelines: the performance standards of the Environmental Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the guidelines of international financing institutions (International Finance Corporation/IFC) and the Equator Principles.
The project developers ensure that the social and environmental concerns of the local communities and of other involved or interested parts are taken into consideration during the whole lifetime of that project by preparing an ESIA. This study can be the basis of communication with all the institutions and authorities involved in decision-making.
According to the national laws and to EBRD’s requirements, the general aim of an ESIA will include:
- Deciding on the purpose and identifying the essential environmental and socio-economic aspects;
- Defining the fundamental conditions of the essential environmental and social resources that may be affected by the project;
- Assessing the positive and negative impacts caused by the proposed project on the environmental and socioeconomic resources;
- Consulting the individuals and other shareholders that may be affected by the project;
- Developing the project having in view to avoid, reduce and compensate any significant negative impacts upon the environment and on the public;
- Elaborating a monitoring program for verifying the efficiency of the project in achieving its objectives and for developing and improving the efficiency of the negative impact mitigation measures.