An initial assessment has the objective of helping project desk
officers and planners to assess a project in relation to environmental impacts.
The initial assessment shall provide a survey of environmental impacts likely to
ensue if a project is implemented. Usually an initial assessment will be based
on easily accessible information, former research, the local population's views,
Only potential environmental impacts, direct and indirect, are
identified in the initial assessment. Estimates are not assumed to be
substantiated by special accounts or registrations, but rather come under a full
assessment. An initial assessment ought to be mastered by personnel without
specialist knowledge of that particular project type, or of environmental
impacts assessment in general. In the course of an initial assessment, the
project desk officer may nevertheless find it necessary to consult environmental
The initial assessment should attempt to clarify both positive
and negative environmental impacts. However, since the major positive effects
are usually included in the main project account, the initial assessment will
tend to lean towards potential negative impacts.
The EIA-system affords no easy solutions to weighing positive
and negative aspects against one another in a decision-making process. This is
because there are seldom clear objective criteria or threshold values for which
environmental effects are acceptable or not.
This booklet provides a survey of required information as well
as questions that need to be answered in an initial assessment of projects and
activities connected to plant protection.
To offer a brief overview of the subject, Part I describes what
this project category normally comprises, and what environmental impacts in
particular can be expected. This section stresses an account of the special
problems often faced by plant protection in developing countries and tropical
Part II offers a more specific account of the kind of
information that ought to be available as well as questions that should be
answered in an initial assessment of projects within plant