|Aquaculture - Initial Environmental Assessment Series No. 5 (NORAD, 1992)|
|Part II: Documentation requirements for initial assessment of aquaculture projects|
As a basis for initial assessment, a description of the project must be available. In most cases it will be relevant to present several alternative technical solutions and localities. Activities in both the construction phase and the operational phase must be included. This description will to a certain extent be based on the regular technical and economic description of the project. The following questions are meant to elicit information that is relevant with regard to environmental impacts. Relatively detailed information may be required as regards production processes, use of input, locality etc. If such information is already documented, redocumentation is not necessary. The information resulting from the initial assessment can be included in the project document before it is presented for approval. In the case of more comprehensive projects, the information may be collected in an appendix to the project document.
The following specifies essential background information for an initial assessment. This information should normally be included in a complete project document:
a. The need for the project. Give a brief description of how the need for the project has arisen. What is the purpose of the production? Who will benefit from the project? What other activities are likely to emerge as a result of the aquaculture project?
b. Alternatives considered. Give a brief presentation of technical alternatives and localization alternatives which have been considered in connection with the project. If possible, give a brief account of any differences in technology, water and energy requirements, infrastructure requirements etc..
c. Description of the project and potential main alternatives. Give a relatively comprehensive description of the alternative(s) that are viewed as relevant. The description should include e.g. mapping of technical constructions, areas utilized directly and what types of areas these are. Which form of farming (extensive, semi-intensive, intensive) and which farm organism(s) are relevant? One should also document potential training and labour requirements and effects on existing or planned activities in the area. If relevant, the information should cover both the construction and the operations phases.
d. Conditions for project implementation. Give a brief account of the public and private physical initiatives (infrastructure etc.) and any other external prerequisites for the implementation of the project, e.g. local institutional and administrative conditions, including environmental competence.
Give a brief description of the natural and man-made surroundings in which the project is to be located. Where appropriate the information should be presented as topical charts and illustrations. Sources as well as the reliability of the presented information should be indicated briefly.
The description should contain an account of:
· The climatic, geological and soil conditions in the area.
· The hydrological conditions in the area. The characteristics of the water sources affected.
· Vulnerable and/or conservation-worthy animal species, plant species and ecosystems in the affected area.
· Unique natural or cultural areas, or objects of historic, archeological, cultural, aesthetic or scientific value.
· Main aspects of the existing utilization of areas and natural resources in the affected regions, including extensive utilization of natural areas.
· Demographic aspects, such as size and composition of affected population groups and any existing ethnic diversity etc.
· The settlement pattern and means of production, specified for each ethnic group, class, and caste where relevant. Division of labour organized on the basis of gender and age within these groups.
· The health situation with emphasis on environmentally related diseases.
· Any existing or planned activities that may hold consequences for aquaculture.
The aspects included in the following checklist must be commented on. In case the problem is irrelevant, this must be substantiated. If the listed effects can be expected their extent or degree should be estimated.
It is necessary to specify which groups of the population will be affected by the different types of direct or indirect environmental impacts. A rough division could be as follows:
· The project's target group. This is the group of the population which one expects will benefit directly from the project. This group may, however, also be subject to certain negative environmental impacts.
· The remaining local population. This group will not benefit from the project in any primary way, but the project may still have both positive and negative consequences for them.
· Resettled population groups. These are groups of the population who either settle in the area or move away from it as a result of the project or the development initiated by it.
Within in these three groups it may also be relevant to specify if the environmental impacts from the project can be related to specific parts of the population, such as low-income groups, indigenous groups etc., combined with a further specification of gender and age within these groups.