Environmental Impact Assessment in Ethiopia: A General Review of History, Transformation and Challenges Hindering Full Implementation

Adugna Feyissa Gubena


Ethiopia’s past development has been highly criticized due to lack of integrating environmental concerns into the development agendas. It seems that only small efforts have been made up to date with the institutionalization of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) proclamation. Most development plannings have focused on short term economic feasibility and paid little attention to their environmental impacts. As a result, the country has experienced serious damages, not only to the environment, but also to the society. On the other hand, the country currently welcomes huge investment projects mainly targeted at intensification of agriculture and industrialization. These projects need attention to manage their environmental impacts. Regardless of the minimal effects of its implementation, Ethiopia has laid a foundation for this through the introduction of the Environmental Policy and EIA proclamation (Proc. No. 299/2002). This paper tries to look into the paths of EIA in Ethiopia. It reviews the history of the development system with a focus on problems of the past development. With an urgent need in the field of impact management in line with the current needs for development, the paper highlights the Ethiopian environmental policy, specifically targeting on the current implementation of EIA procedures. It also attempts to address the challenges the country has recently faced to fully implement EIA and suggests possible solutions to overcome, and hence move towards more sustainable development.

Keywords: Development; Environment; Environmental Impact Assessment; Ethiopia

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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