About Environmental Impact Assessment
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the possible impact, positive or negative, that forest activities may have on the natural environment. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as "the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.” It can also be referred to as an advance assessment of the likely environmental impact of a planned development, together with opinions of people and interest groups. The information gathered is passed on to planners and decision-makers to make detailed studies, which predict the effects of a development project on the environment. They also provide plans for the mitigation of the adverse impacts. Reference can be made to “EIA Guidelines for Timber Harvesting in Natural Forests” (FRIM 1995). A screening matrix or tabular statements specifying planned activities, their potential impacts which require mitigating measures, can be adopted.