Virtual training starts for Pacific nations

Training has commenced for officers managing environmental and social risks associated with infrastructure development projects in Pacific Island countries.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) and the World Bank have announced in a statement that they have jointly launched the Regional Training on Environment Impact Assessment, Stakeholder Engagement and Social Impact Assessment in the Pacific.

The training which is being done virtually for the participants started on 11 November and will end 3 December.

The training is one of the key activities of the Pacific Learning Partnership for Environmental Sustainability of which the S.P.R.E.P. and the World Bank are founding members.

It targets officers of national environment impact assessment regulators and local World Bank project officers, who are managing environmental and social risks and impacts associated with infrastructure development projects of Pacific Island Countries.

There are eight training modules which cover a topic related to environment impact assessment,  stakeholder engagement and social impact assessment. 

The modules are designed to provide a general and broad overview of theories and practices including good practices, which can be adopted to implement an effective stakeholder engagement and social impact assessment processes, which in turn helps to produce better outcomes and sound decision-making on development activities that could have adverse impacts on the environment and people.

The training aims to introduce and raise the level of understanding of participants about the critical importance of stakeholder engagement and social impact assessments within the context of the environment impact assessment process.

S.P.R.E.P. Director [Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme], Easter Chu Shing, said in the statement that the regional training is specifically focused on social impact assessment and stakeholder engagement to strengthen and increase understanding on these two important elements of the environment impact assessment process.

“S.P.R.E.P is pleased to partner with the World Bank on this training as it helps in establishing a good understanding of the World Bank Safeguards process including ways in which it could complement or enhance the environment impact assessment process which is articulated in the S.P.R.E.P Regional Environment Impact Assessment Guidelines,” she said.

The Pacific Learning Partnership for Environmental and Social Sustainability is a partnership between the S.P.R.E.P., University of the South Pacific [U.S.P.], Asian Development Bank [A.D.B.] and the World Bank.

It was formed to help Pacific islands gain greater access to opportunities for training and capacity building, technical environmental impact and assessment specialists, and will increase the development of regionally focused tertiary qualifications.

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