MPE Webinar Series: Win-Win Solutions from Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

August. 30, 2016
1. Webinar Introduction

Mediation was highlighted as the key principle that can lead to win-win solutions in public participation in EIA. It will provide all stakeholders especially local communities to voice their concerns by taking various contributing factors into account at an early stage. Since conflicts can be minimized and avoided through mediated public participation process, the discussion identified related actors who can conduct mediation and techniques that can be employed and examined further in development projects. This was introduced to ensure that public participation in EIA would be integrated into the development of the Regional Guidelines on Public Participation in EIA reflecting the improved project design in response to the needs of affected people in the Lower Mekong countries. Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) in collaboration with Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) organised the Fourth MPE Webinar Series on Win-Win Solutions from Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment on 30 August 2016, hosted by Dr. Peter King. Over 28 Government officials from the EIA department, CSOs along with other EIA Practitioners across Asia and representatives from development partners registered for this event. This fourth session of the MPE webinar series on "win-win solutions" was designed to provide the Regional Technical Working Group on EIA and other attendees with an opportunity to understand how public participation can avoid community conflict and improve project proposals. It teased out available evidence on why many development projects are delayed or cause local concern, even if EIAs are prepared in accordance with the law. Is there any evidence that improved public participation procedures in EIA will lead to improved outcomes, where the developer, government, and local communities all feel that a win-win solution has been achieved? The session resulted in potential adoption of public participation in EIA, since most of participants expressed their interests in applying the tools in minimizing conflicts; there is room for further discussion in accessing to mediators and developing tools. Thus, potential tools and techniques for public participation in EIA can further be discussed in the next webinar session.

2. Webinar Materials