By Mekong Partnership for the Environment
Vietnam, July 7, 2016
The Government of Vietnam requires Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for all large-scale infrastructure development projects and supports public participation in the EIA process. However, a new study shows that women and other marginalized people are often not engaged effectively in the EIA.
Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) supported the Center for Environment for Community Research (CECR), a Vietnamese NGO, to investigate the gender dimensions of public participation in EIA processes in Vietnam. The policy research paper “Assessing Women’s Engagement in Environmental Impact Assessments on Infrastructure Projects in Vietnam: Recommendations for Policy and Public Participation in EIA” examines women’s participation in two development project sites in Vietnam; Trung Son Hydropower Project funded by the World Bank and the Phu Hoa Landfill Project supported by the Asian Development Bank.
The research traces and analyzes the constraints to women’s public participation in EIAs in Vietnam, and determines the benefits of their meaningful participation in the process. The research findings show that women’s participation in both sites was virtually absent in all stages of the EIA processes. But CECR found that there are potential benefits of women’s participation in EIA. Women bring important knowledge of environment and livelihood resources, and details on how these are being affected by infrastructure development. The research found that if women’s voices had been adequately involved in decision making, resettlement plans might have been improved, reducing loss of livelihood and damage to natural resources.
The full research report is released and available for download on CECR’s website: http://cecr.vn/en/cepcc/eia-gender-report.html
This is an outreach announcement from the USAID-funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE), a key supporter of The Mekong Eye.
Lead Photo: One of the study sites: construction site of the Trung Son Hydropower Project in Vietnam, Credit: Center for Environment and Community Research (CECR)