The previous session of webinar on Win Solutions from Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment has provided a platform for participants to underline approaches as challenges by incorporating public participation that would lead to resolutions adopted in implementing the projects through collective voices of local communities. Thus, the tools and technique that would initiate public participation to run in the field with involvement of relevant stakeholders have been raised to equip mediators and working groups with essential skills that are viable.
The fifth session of webinar has explored tools and techniques on MPE Webinar Series on Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Tools and Techniques was held on 29 September 2016 by Ms. Robin Coursen, EIA practitioner/facilitator of United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Mr. Daniel Adams, Principal of The Langdon Group and Dr. Peter King, Head of AECEN Secretariat.
The webinar session examined case studies and best practices that could be duplicated in Mekong Region. Reflecting from successful case of Langdon group, the model presented involvement of relevant stakeholders by mapping them out and ensure that the high level in power of decision making participated in the meeting, while the importance of working on the ground with local community was highlighted along with applying active listening to gain trust and strategizing questions by giving open ended questions asking about expectations including methods of getting affected people comments from anonymous approach like parking lot. The tools of social media and visualized media were presented as a channel to hear affected people voice and to educate people on concerned issues. There is an additional model of Public Private Partnership was introduced to provide as an alternative option to generate funding to enhance cooperation from private sector.
This fifth session has resulted in active engaging session with pinpoint questions given by participants examined different angles of public participation process and different approaches employed to gain inputs from multiple stakeholders.
Significantly, there are several points that could be further explored in the next session on the design of public participation and preparation to gain trust from stakeholders has been discussed for further development that could translated in potential course for training mediators to run the process.