Environment Assessment (EA)

It is mandatory for any development project, in Eswatini, to be subjected to the EA process prior to implementation. The Environment Management Act, 2002, identifies Eswatini Environment Authority as the administrator of the EA process. EA is a process design to ensure that the environmental consequences of development are identified and environmental management measures are established to mitigate against adverse impacts. This is to ensure that environmental management measures are incorporated into the design of projects.

The associated stages of the EA process include submission of a project brief to the Eswatini Environment Authority. This brief is subjected to a screening process which leads to the categorization. Categorization determines the level of assessment required for the respective development before the issuance of an authorization letter. Assessment levels are prescribed as category 1, EMP, 2, or 3 in the Environment Assessment Regulation, 2022. Under each of these categories, documentation is submitted to the Eswatini Environment Authority, leading to authorization.

The following factors influence the category assigned to project briefs;

  1. Nature of the project
  2. The scale of the project
  3. Location in relation to environmentally sensitive areas,
  4. Anticipated impacts that will be suffered by the environment due to the project,
  5. Policies and legislation pertaining to the environment.

Environment Assessment Regulations, 2022, contain a schedule of submission fees (see Tariffs) relevant to the respective stages of the EA process. These regulations further stipulate the time it is take the Eswatini Environment Authority to attend and issue a correspondence regarding all submissions made. There are submission fees relevant to each stage of the EA process, which are also indicated in the regulations.

The following are relevant EA submission timeline as per the provisions of the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 2022;

Categorization

Project Brief Within Five (5) days

Environmental Management Plan Within Five (5) days

Category 2 Submissions

Initial Environmental Evaluation Within Ten (10) days

Category 3 Submissions

Scoping Report (Terms of Reference) Within Five (5) days

Environmental Impact Assessment Within Fifteen (15) days

Public Review Not less than Fifteen (15) days

All developers are expected to commission an Environmental Assessment Practitioner to undertake EA and facilitate the acquisition of an environmental authorization before the inception of a project. The EA process affords interested and affected parties engagement opportunities allowing them to be informed about the development project and further inform the decision making stage.

Environment Assessment Project Declaration Form

Environmental Assessment Regulations

Environmental Assessment Regulations, 2022.

Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA) is a tool used globally to identify both negative and positive impacts of development projects and activities on the environment so that negative impacts are mitigated, and positive ones enhanced. In this reporting period, a total of 122 applications were administered, 88 (82%) were new applications whilst 34 (18) were ongoing applications.

Environmental Assessment applications received

i. New Applications from 1 October 2023 to 31 December 2023

After the screening process, projects are assigned categories and in this reporting period a high proportion of the projects were allocated Category 1, 34 (38.64%), a majority of the category 1 projects were residential dwellings. Category 1B projects were 26.14% (23), these are projects which require the submission of Environmental Management Plans (EMPs), Category 2 were 17.05% (15), Category 3 were 5.68% (2) Environmental Audits, 2.27% (2) and projects which are still undergoing screening, 10.3% (9). The figure below shows the proportion of the categorized new applications.

ii. On going application

Twenty-two applications were still ongoing in this reporting period and a significant proportion of the ongoing applications are Category 2, 45.45% (10) followed by Category 1B, 22.73% (5) and Audits at 18.18% (4). A few 13.64% (3) Category 3 projects are still ongoing.

Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines

The EIA Process

Besides the regulations the EEA has developed comprehensive guidelines as to the EIA process. The guidelines include the following chapters:

1. The categories
2. Scoping
3. Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE)
4. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs)
5. Comprehensive mitigation Plan (CMP)
6. Environmental Auditing (EA)
7. Consultation and Public Participation (CPP)

Environment Impact Assessment Reading Material

Project Categorization Framework for Strengthening Environmental Impact Assessment

Project Categorization

Click here to download the Application for Registration Form

REGISTERED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PRACTITIONERS

Registered and certified environmental assessment practitioners; and in accordance with Environmental Assessment Regulations, 2022 as of 31st October 2023.

Surname Name EAP Number Certification Level Date of First Registration Country of Citizenship E-mail
Khumalo Thobile 230001ES 3 31/10/2023 Eswatini tkhumalo@mtkinvest.com
Thwala Themba 240001ES 3 20/03/2024 Eswatini themba.thwala@eec.co.sz
Mziyako Nozipho 240002ES 3 20/03/2024 Eswatini nn.mziyako@gmail.com