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close this bookConducting Environmental Impact Assessment in Developing Countries (United Nations University, 1999, 375 p.)
close this folder2. Introduction to EIA
View the document2.1 What is EIA?
View the document2.2 Who is involved in the EIA process?
View the document2.3 When should the EIA be undertaken?
Open this folder and view contents2.4 Effectiveness of EIA
View the document2.5 EIA and other environmental management tools

2.5 EIA and other environmental management tools

EIA was one of the first specific management tools developed for the analysis and management of environment effects. However, a number of other tools which constitute the "tool-kit'' of processes/techniques for environmental management include:

• environmental audits (audit);
• life cycle analysis (LCA);
• economic assessment, usually through cost-benefit analysis (CBA);
• environmental design (ED).

Rather than being comprehensive, self-contained procedures, these tools are really aids which can be adapted to various situations. Legislative and bureaucratic frameworks for environmental management differ considerably between various countries. The use of these tools therefore varies from country to country. The methods listed above contribute to decision-making procedures. In practice they must be used in a flexible way, rather than as "cookbook'' solutions.

The tools shown in Table 2.1 may be used at various stages of the project, as indicated. LCA encompasses the "cradle to grave'' analysis of the products and services and has an in-built impact assessment step to assess the impacts at the resource level. EIA and CBA may be integrated into the project cycle while audit may be conducted during project construction/plant installation and post-project monitoring.

Table 2.1 Illustration of how each tool might be used in an industrial project






Initial investigation


Concept development

Comparison of options

Selection of an alternative


Plant installation