POLICY AND INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS FOR AN EFFECTIVE EIA SYSTEM IN SUDAN
OSMAN MIRGHANI MOHAMED ALI
Assessing the potential impact of development projects in the Sudan dates back to the study of the Equatorial Nile Project conducted in the last century during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies commenced in the early eighties of the last century with the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Studies in the University of Khartoum. The practice gathered momentum with the recent activities in the oil and roads sectors. Although the practice of (EIA) has only recently been legalized by the passing of the Environment Protection Act of 2001, the performance of EIA is often poor due to flaws in legislative, administrative, institutional and procedural frameworks. Effective implementation of the EIA process in the Sudan requires the institutionalization of the process within the legislative, administrative, political and education system in the country. Special emphasis is needed for the federal system of governance. Other issues include accreditation, sectoral regulations, establishing of a National Centre of EIA for advising the government and for training of human capacities. The paper calls for more involvement of stakeholders via effective popular participation in all steps of EIA. The expected influx of foreign investors following the Comprehensive Peace Accord of 2005 and the concentration of oil reserves in the ecologically rich and sensitive regions, call for an urgent improvement in the legislative, institutional and procedural aspects of the process.
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