Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)

Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)

1,000 Hectare Commercial Plantation, Laos

SLP Environmental Consultants (Laos) was appointed to provide Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) services for a 1,000 hectare plantation scheme (the Project) located in Southern Laos. Our client was considering leasing an economic land concession (ELC) for cultivation and as part of their corporate social responsibility process, and in accordance with Government of Laos (GOL) regulations, commissioned SLP Environmental to i) assess the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of the planned Project activities on the natural environment, project affected people (PAP) and project affected communities (PAC), and ii) formulate and implement Environmental and Social Action Plans to mitigate the effects of any identified adverse impacts and enhance the positive impacts.

As part of the Scoping Study phase a project site reconnaissance was undertaken by Environmental and Social specialists from SLP with the objective of identifying and prioritizing the range of likely environmental and social impacts and opportunities via observations, informal consultations and a review of authoritative secondary data. This was followed by more detailed Baseline Studies such as the habitat and ecological surveys, environmental quality monitoring, water resource assessments, socio-economic surveys and asset registration. Significant environmental and social features were catalogued using GPS techniques and a GIS database for the Project was established which acted as the repository for all the survey data.

An SLP Social Safeguards Specialist led the team responsible for developing the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and Livelihoods Restoration Plan (LRP) in compliance with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Asian Development Bank guidelines.

The findings of the environmental baseline studies were appraised in the Impacts Identification and Evaluation phase of the study to determine the primary impacts of the proposed Project on the natural environment. The study considered the adverse and positive, direct-indirect and cumulative, short and long term impacts of the proposed Project’s activities (during its whole life cycle) on the identified vulnerable environmental receptors and culminated in the formulation of a robust Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan (EMMP) aimed at mitigating the identified adverse environmental impacts whilst enhancing the schemes positive impacts.