Executive Summar: Strengthening the EIA Process in Thailand

Thailand’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) process for development projects has been evaluated with the purpose of identifying shortfalls and actions to strengthen the process. The project was timely in that the country expects a surge of development in its natural and human resource sectors in the decades ahead. Project sponsors, the Asian Development Bank and the government’s Office of Environmental Policy and Planning along with the Ministry of Science, Technology, and realize the importance of sustained development and directed the project to develop recommended actions that will facilitate the EIA process while improving the quality and objectives of the process.

A team of experts, fielded by the firm of Seatec International. analyzed all phases of the EIA process and the role and output of the various participants including: (a) the National Environment Board’s initial project screening activity, (b) the private consulting firms that prepare EIA reports, (c) Office of Environmental Policy and Planning’s Division of Environmental Impact Evaluation which reviews the consultants‘ EIAs. and (d) the technical review committees which act on EIAs proposed by private project proponents and which provide recommendations to the National Environment Board for approval or rejection of EIAs prepared by public project proponents.