In recent decades, the practice of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in the planning processes of infrastructure projects has created significant awareness on the benefits of environmentally sound and sustainable urban development around the world. In the highly urbanized megacities in the Philippines, like Metro Manila, high priority is given by the national government to structural flood mitigation measures (SFMM) due to the persistently high frequency of flood-related disasters, which are exacerbated by the on-going effects of climate change. EIA thus, should be carefully and effectively executed to maximize the potential benefits of the SFMM. The common practice of EIA in the Philippines is generally qualitative and lacks clear methodology in evaluating multi-criteria systems. Thus, this study proposes the use of the rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) technique to provide a method that would systematically and quantitatively evaluate the socio-economic and environmental impacts of planned SFMM in Metro Manila. The RIAM technique was slightly modified to fit the requirements of this study. The scale of impact was determined for each perceived impact, and based on the results, the planned SFMM for Metro Manila will likely bring significant benefits; however, significant negative impacts may also likely occur. The proposed modifications were found to be highly compatible with RIAM, and the results of the RIAM analysis provided a clear view of the impacts associated with the implementation of SFMM projects. This may prove to be valuable in the practice of EIA in the Philippines.
"n various regional environmental assessments for river basins, coastal zones and urban planning including the Manila Third Sewerage Project. SEA prospects seem to be in the development of a SEA framework within the Environmental Assessment Act that would require SEA for PPPs involving multicomponent , multi-sector projects and activities (Gilbuena Jr. et al., 2013; Mercado, 2007). In terms of cultural dimensions, Philippines has a high PDI with a score of 94 which indicates a hierarchical society where centralization is prevalent (Hofstede , 2014). Finally, SEA developments in the Philippines indicate the absence of SEA legislation, SEA application, public participation provision as well as publi"
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper provides an overview on the policy trends of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) in Asia. SEA is promoted as a system of incorporating environmental considerations into policies, plans and programmes (PPP). SEA has evolved from an alternative of environmental impact assessments (EIA) to a potential environmental policy integration (EPI) tool in national policy planning. Nevertheless, SEA trends in Asia require a re-examination on its role and effectiveness to avoid SEA implementation in Asia mimicking SEA developments in Europe without customizing its application to local conditions in Asia. Policy trends of SEA in Asia indicate that it is currently an important environmental policy consideration for countries in the region with the formulation of SEA legislations in Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia. Nevertheless, SEA implementation also has been impeded by challenges in realizing practical SEA public participation especially in countries with traditionally high cultural power distance dynamics such as China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Meanwhile, countries such as Japan and Pakistan have voluntarily implemented SEA elements such as public participation without legislative provisions while countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are resisting the adoption of SEA. The primary problem of SEA implementation in Asia has been its limited integration in strategic decision making due to the highly political nature of policy planning framed within the cultural context of Asian countries. Notable progress of SEA implementation in Asia has been the emerging awareness on the need for SEA. Interestingly, SEA prospects in Asia seem to be in the development of international regional cooperation on SEA capacity building. Meanwhile, SEA implementation range from the use of structured policy instruments such as legislative frameworks to non-structured policy instruments such as stakeholder engagement. Consequently, the SEA paradigm analysis suggests that SEA integration in Asia requires a paradigm shift to address the primary strategic gap of over-reliance on structured policy instruments such as legislation. This fundamentally means an adaptation towards a hybrid of structured and non-structured policy instruments to super-stream the benefits of SEA. In conclusion, SEA trends in Asia indicate a sagacious realization that SEA in theory may be a strategic and rationale approach to integrating environmental considerations. However, SEA in practice is a complex, dynamic and challenging process that requires political will, legislative framework and a transparent stakeholder engagement process framed within the cultural context of Asian countries.
"In EIA, decisions must be made based on rational judgment, which is particularly enhanced in the RIAM technique (Pastakia and Jensen, 1998; Gilbuena et al., 2013a). In a RIAM-based assessment, the impacts are classified using the range band variable H n based on the ranges of the environmental scores as shown in Table 3. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, the practice of environmental impact assessment (EIA) has created significant awareness on the role of environmentally sound projects in sustainable development. In view of the recent studies on the effects of climate change, the Philippine government has given high priority to the construction of flood control structures to alleviate the destructive effects of unmitigated floods, especially in highly urbanized areas like Metro Manila. EIA thus, should be carefully and effectively carried out to maximize or optimize the potential benefits that can be derived from structural flood mitigation measures (SFMMs). A utility-based environmental assessment approach may significantly aid flood managers and decision-makers in planning for effective and environmentally sound SFMM projects. This study proposes a utility-based assessment approach using the rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) technique, coupled with the evidential reasoning approach, to rationally and systematically evaluate the ecological and socio-economic impacts of 4 planned SFMM projects (i.e. 2 river channel improvements and 2 new open channels) in Metro Manila. Results show that the overall environmental effects of each of the planned SFMM projects are positive, which indicate that the utility of the positive impacts would generally outweigh the negative impacts. The results also imply that the planned river channel improvements will yield higher environmental benefits over the planned open channels. This study was able to present a clear and rational approach in the examination of overall environmental effects of SFMMs, which provides valuable insights that can be used by decision-makers and policy makers to improve the EIA practice and evaluation of projects in the Philippines.
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