In principle, an EIA should be carried out by expert(s) recognized by the governement and external to the project. I am however wondering the following:

1) Is it always the case or are there some countries which don't require the participation of a thrid party ?

2) In countries where the participation of a third party is mandatory, does the project initiator still contribute to the EIA (by providing key information on the project, i.e.)? If so, what is exactly the type and level of participation of the project initiator ?

I am aware that every country has different legislation with regard to EIA and it is therefore difficult to have general answers to my questions.

I am particularly interested at the moment by the cases of Panama and Guatemala.


  • Besides local regulations there are all kinds of rules and guidelines you have to follow if you want to adhere to international standards (e.g. ISO 14000 series or IAIA guidelines and best practices)
    – THelper
    Apr 29 '15 at 10:12
  • are you reffering to the canals? If not, what type of project?
    – mart
    Apr 29 '15 at 14:03
  • No I am not referring to the canal (of Panama?) specifically, but rather to any type of project. I am personally particularly interested in EIA required for solar farms, which are not so common (esp. in Panama & Guatemala). Any specific info for solar farm would be thus very much appreciated. Apr 29 '15 at 15:04

I can't comment on Panama/Guatemala, but in the UK, at least in theory:

EIAs are normally conducted by third-party consultants. These consultants are usually hired by the prospective developer, and some might argue that this makes them non-independent (although bear in mind that they also have reputations for rigor to preserve).

What protects the objectiveness of EIAs is not who does them, but that they are open - they are presented as scientific reports with a citation trail to back up all the assertions that they make, and thus anybody can inspect them and, if they find mistakes or bias, point this out to the regulatory authorities.

  • I do agree with the argument that environmental assessment agencies who are hired to conduct a EIA have low chance to be biased, since they have to preserve good reputation. It would thus be the same for peer reviewer: for EIAs which have been entirely carried out and reported by the project initiator, a peer review made by an external party would then guarrantee the objectivity of the EIA. What are you opinion about this last point? Has anybody already seen such a process and/or has any exemple ? Apr 29 '15 at 15:36

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