The Strengths and Weaknesses of Environmental Impact Assessment System in Bangladesh: Institutional Aspects

By S.M. Zobaidul Kabir and Salim Momtaz.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The aim of this paper is to investigate the institutional (legal and administrative) arrangements of environmental impact assessment (EIA) system in Bangladesh. A strong, comprehensive and clear institutional set up is a key indicator of an effective EIA system. EIA was formally accepted in Bangladesh in 1995. However, no empirical study has been undertaken to understand the adequacy of institutional aspects of EIA in Bangladesh. This study shows that significant efforts have been made throughout the last two decades to establish a viable institutional set up for EIA practice in Bangladesh. There is a clear legal basis of EIA and an independent agency authorised to enforce EIA. However, despite the delivery of a favourable context for EIA practice, there are limitations. This study identifies some key shortfalls in existing EIA legislation and weaknesses of the environmental agencies that may have affected the effective implementation of EIA. The government of Bangladesh needs to take immediate measures to improve the practice of EIA. An amendment of EIA legislations is desirable and measures to strengthen the environmental agency are required to make the EIA more effective. It is expected that a timely institutional reform will contribute to improve the EIA practice and thereby promote sustainable development in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Effectiveness, EIA, Institution, Bangladesh

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.149-166. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.198MB).

Dr. S.M. Zobaidul Kabir

PhD Candidate, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Gosford, NSW, Australia

S.M.Zobaidul Kabir is currently doing PhD research at the University of Newcastle, Australia under Endeavour Postgraduate Award by the Australian Government. The author obtained Master of Demography degree from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He obtained Master of Environmental Management and Development, and Master of Diplomacy from the Australian National University, Australia under AusAID scholarship. The author is working for the government of Bangladesh as a civil servant over 13 years. He has also working experience with United Nations Population Fund, Bangladesh as a National Consultant. The author’s research interests include environmental impact assessment, social capital and environment, climate change impact assessment, and corporate environmental management. A number of research articles of the author have been published in peer reviewed international and national journals.

Dr. Salim Momtaz

Senior Lecturer, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Gosford, NSW, Australia

Salim Momtaz is a Senior Lecturer of School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His research interests include ‘development and environment in developing countries’, ‘environmental and social impact assessment,’ ‘community participation in environmental decision-making’, and application of Geographic Information Systems’. He taught EIA and SIA at the School of Foreign Services, Georgetown University, Washington DC, as an Adjunct Associate Professor and conducted research on ‘comparative EIA and SIA in Australia, Bangladesh and USA’ as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Australian and New Zealand Studies, Washington DC. He has worked on various research projects in Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam. He has published a good number of articles in international journals including ‘Environmental Impact Assessment Review’ and ‘Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal’ and is author of three books.

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