Course Introduction

The Module is designed to provide a critical overview of the theory and practice of EIA as operated internationally to those students who need to understand EIA: this includes formal students being graduate and postgraduate students, plus practitioners/professionals.

Within this framework there are opportunities to customise the material to reflect local jurisdictional procedures and issues.

The Module covers the:

  • purpose and aims of EIA;
  • EIA administration and practice;
  • concept of associated assessment processes;
  • key elements of the EIA process;
  • undertaking an EIA;
  • role of public participation;
  • stages that follow EIA;
  • the costs and benefits of undertaking EIA; and
  • understanding of the strengths and limitations of EIA.

The aim of the Module is to provide understanding of EIA and confidence with its application and limitations. Broadly the objectives are for students to:

  • appreciate the purpose and role of EIA in the decision-making process;
  • understand the strengths of EIA in regard to environmental management;
  • understand the technical and social/political limitations of EIA;
  • know the administration and procedures that apply in the student’s jurisdiction;
  • understand the screening process;
  • understand the scoping process and how it is applied;
  • know the options for estimating environmental and social impacts;
  • know the format of an EIA Report (Environmental Impact Statement, or Environmental Statement);
  • appreciate the factors that assist, and detract, from the usefulness of the EIA Report;
  • understand the purpose of developing follow-up procedures, and the options for designing these procedures.

The learning that students will achieve will come from the structured materials that form the basis of the Module, the self-administered questions that are contained within the Modules’ Sections, and the assignments that are specified at certain points in the Module.

January 18, 2007 Uncategorized — brendan @ 7:27 pm


  1. First of all I would like to thank the web for giving us this opportunity which is very great resource specially for developing country like Ethiopia. And I would like to comment that if there could be downloadable resources not only online, because it is too costly for poor country like us. Thanks a lot. With regards , Anwar Kamal

    Comment by anwar kamal — March 24, 2007 @ 6:17 am

  2. Holla. Aunque leo inglés, mi idioma de origen es el español. Es posible que el módulo del curso aparezca en español?
    Estoy muy interesada en seguir el aprendizaje
    Nancy de Pérez.

    Comment by nancy jiménez — April 4, 2007 @ 9:20 am

  3. We are currently looking into how to make a downloadable version of this course for individual learners. We don’t have plans to make a Spanish version.

    Brendan Barrett

    Comment by brendan — April 16, 2007 @ 1:28 am

  4. I really appreciate the UNU for allowing us to learn from the website,however it could be very good if the information can be downloaded to enable us as developing countries to share with the colleagues who do not have access to internet

    Comment by Lely Saima Angula — May 4, 2007 @ 9:26 am

  5. Thank you for the valuable information, and I join my voice to others who ask for the information to be downloadable, its very useful and important to have such site with that kind of knowledge, hope to see more topics in future. Thank you

    Comment by Sanaa Shami — May 22, 2007 @ 4:39 am

  6. It is really a step forward for the developing countries where students dont have much opportunities in this field. As a practitioner I am benefited from it. Thanks.

    Comment by Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, IFS — May 26, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  7. Your EIA module has made it easier for me to understand the basics of EIA. I would appreciate it if there would be more examples for the EIA methods that would be relevant for developing countries.

    Many thanks!

    Comment by Fernando Paras Jr. — July 27, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

  8. Thanks for a very informative website. Do you mind including a few case studies – preferably from developing countries?

    Comment by Remigius Rushomesa — August 22, 2007 @ 9:16 am

  9. Hi Remigius,

    Thanks for your comments. Actually, we have been including the case studies in the EIA wiki that is connected to this course module. The thinking that we had is that the course module includes the general principles of EIA and then if you want to learn more about EIA is different countries or about EIA for different types of projects then you could find these in the EIA Wiki.

    You can see the EIA wiki at this link –

    Brendan Barrett
    UNU Media Studio

    Comment by brendan — August 22, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

  10. I am currently enrolled on an MSc in Sustainable environmental management. One module is related to the environmental tools. Great to have access to such information on your website. Thanks but would like to say that a downloadable version would have been helpful.

    Rani from Mauritius

    Comment by Rani — September 10, 2007 @ 8:58 am

  11. Dear Rani,

    There is a download-able version. You can access it here –

    Brendan Barrett
    UNU Media Studio

    Comment by brendan — September 10, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

  12. Is there any procedure in place that the persons who undertake this course are assessed.



    Comment by Lakhu Luhana — October 18, 2007 @ 12:54 am

  13. Hi Lakhu,

    This course is designed as an open educational resource and is being utilized in a number of teaching programmes around the world, including in the UNU-Global Virtual University. In order to be assessed for this course, you would need to be enrolled at one of those universities. The UNU is currently not implementing this course for credit.

    Best regards


    Comment by brendan — October 18, 2007 @ 9:30 am

  14. The content is great but i need to know how i may get involved in the whole thing from as far as Zimbabwe.

    Comment by daniel — December 24, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

  15. Hi Brendan

    I really liked what you posted and reading from the feedbacks it is worth downloading the programme. However, twice I downloaded the Basic Version but each time it resulted in the Advance Version being downloaded which I can’t access because of my limitations.

    Is there another better way of downloading the Basic Version??

    Alex Makini
    School of Natural Resources, Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, SI.

    Comment by Alex Makini — January 7, 2008 @ 8:31 am

  16. Dear Alex,

    When you download the basic version, you will have a file with the title

    This is a compressed file and you then need to un-zip it. For Windows you can use a free application called Winzip.

    If you have a Mac, you will need Stuffit expander –

    Once you have un-zipped the file, you will have access to a folder called eia-local folder, which contains the entire course content.

    Best of luck,


    Comment by brendan — January 7, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  17. [...] UN University. Environmental Impact Assessment Course Module. Available [...]

    Pingback by Perkenalan Impact Assessment / Analisis Dampak « mo ngapain sih Q?! — February 2, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  18. The module is very succinct and comprehensive. I feel some more legal input is to be added in the module.

    Comment by Dr.Zafar Mahfooz Nomani — February 2, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  19. Dear Brendan Barrett

    Currently, I am teaching EIA at one University in Spain and this resource is very useful, in fact I strongly recommend the “EIA Wiki” as part of the course material. However, it would be very useful to having this site in Spanish. Maybe, I can help you with the translation.

    María Eugenia

    Comment by Dr. Maria Eugenia Suarez-Ojeda — February 8, 2008 @ 3:29 am

  20. Dear Maria,

    We are delighted to hear that you find the resources useful. The idea of translating the EIA wiki into Spanish is very interesting. As you know wikis can be developed easily in a multi-lingual format. If you take a look at the SEA wiki, we made started playing around with some Spanish pages. Perhaps you could experiment there.


    Brendan Barrett

    Comment by brendan — February 8, 2008 @ 9:52 am

  21. Wonderful! Think of a virtual community of impact assessors. We can keep sharing.

    Comment by Martin — February 26, 2008 @ 11:30 pm

  22. you have taught a great deal,iam planning to do a course in eia.thanks

    Comment by john too — April 28, 2008 @ 8:42 pm

  23. Hi Brendan..

    It was a great time for me, when you gave me a lecture at your office on June 3th, 2008. I am one of JICA participants. I think will be more useful if you put any EIA method in your web and course for downloading. best regards

    Comment by Amrizal — June 9, 2008 @ 7:15 am

  24. I am teaching EIA at south valley University in Aswan ( EGYPT ) and this resource is very useful and I work as an environmental researcher and need more information like this in order to support my work. Thank you.

    Comment by amal fawzy — August 10, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  25. Hi
    I found this presentation very helpful as a student offering / studying environmental management as a course and am keeping this as a guide hope you will permit me.

    Comment by popoola — September 17, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  26. HI ,

    I am working in Dubai firm my nature of job in prepering reports on EIA this site is helpful in my work, in need some short course relevent information in dubai any one can send this info to my id

    Comment by Muhammad zahid — October 14, 2008 @ 5:15 pm

  27. This information is very useful for sustainable economic development.I’m working with the conservation organization in Tanzania,could you send me the procedures for the admission including sponsorship?I hope our protected area will be safe after this course,

    Comment by Sebastian — December 24, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

  28. Dear Sabestian,

    The EIA course is an open educational resource. This means that universities and other institutions around the world are free to use it in their teaching programmes.

    At present, students enrolled on the Development Management degree programme at the University of Agder in Norway are using the course module. Perhaps you may want to consider applying to that programme in the future.

    Here is the link:

    Comment by brendan — December 29, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

  29. Hi the material found here is very resourceful. I am a student of University of Cape Town presently doing a masters inEnvironmental Law. I just did finished my first semester and got a topic for my dissertation on EIA and SEA.This work has been very helpful to me. I was so happy when i found this web site. I hope many get to find it too.

    Comment by Camila Nkwenti — January 22, 2009 @ 5:40 pm

  30. ku: its complete my superb lecturer notes before
    nurul: its a relief reading this notes compared to our lecturer’s EIA notes…thanks a lot. really appreciate it!

    Comment by ku nurul ashraf kausar — February 27, 2009 @ 12:56 am

  31. Hi! Thank you for having this website in the internet. It is really very useful for me. I am currently taking up Ph.D. in Environmental Science at the University of the Philippines and I say this is very timely because I am taking EIA subject this summer. I hope that readers will spread the good news about the existence of this website, more so of its academic usefullness. I hope that the guys behind this highly useful website will continue to be patient in managing the website.

    Again, thank you and GOd Bless!

    Comment by Ray S. Yparraguirre — April 16, 2009 @ 1:54 am

  32. I am a student offering Project planning and management from a university in Uganda. I find this work very useful as it greatly to coursework on project environment management in particular EIA.
    God bless your work. Keep it up

    Comment by Patrick Tabuga — May 16, 2009 @ 6:46 am

  33. I would be interested in doing this course, who is it accredited by? And who is it targeted at?
    Kind Regards

    Comment by aisling collins — June 22, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

  34. Dear Aisling Collins,

    Thanks for your interest. This is an open educational resource. It is designed for self study or for the intergration in existing accredited teaching programmes on EIA.


    Comment by brendan — June 30, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

  35. I find that this EIA Course Module is really helpful for those people who are working or will work towards sustainable development. I have used this EIA Course Module with others to train my staff in Department of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, Water Resources and Environmental Aministration in Lao PDR.

    I am appreciated your hard work


    Comment by Aengphone Phaengsuwan — September 4, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  36. Yay! the site has made easy to know what to do in eia and how to do it thanks to all.

    Comment by Yahya Karamat — September 25, 2009 @ 12:31 am

  37. this is a GREAT stuff… I am so thanksful to have these documents as support sources for my lecture to students in a country that access to this kind of ENlgish book is limited. THanks again

    Comment by Thao Dang — October 2, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

  38. I’ve never seen an EIA made easy, this site has it all. It gave me the needed confidence of an experienced practitioner.

    Comment by Chim Akarolo — November 3, 2009 @ 2:31 am

  39. Help! The download won’t download and I keep getting timed out. Please advise. Thank you. I am on a cable modem at a university so there should be no speed issue. Juana

    Comment by Juana Ibanez — November 10, 2009 @ 5:12 am





    Comment by rana — December 16, 2009 @ 5:45 am

  41. This is my first time to have this kind of material. I find it very useful for my job being involved in sustainable environment, sanitation and solid waste management. furthermore, I am to pursue my master degree in environmental sciences. Its just timely I have this rare opportunity to have online learning. Im excited to move on with the modules.

    Comment by Charlie O. Balanon — February 11, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  42. Hi, Brendan

    I really liked the contents of this website and reading the feedbacks felt the programme really worthy for download. However, I downloaded the Basic Version thrice and tried unzipping it but each time it is showing unable to unzip.
    Is there any other way to download the same?

    Sanghamitra K

    Comment by Sanghamitra K — April 3, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

  43. Zip file not opening

    Comment by SK — April 3, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

  44. Hi,

    I am sorry if the next questions are a little bit silly but I do not understand quite right how this course works.

    Bacause of my job I need to learn how to writte an EIA, so I have found this course but:

    Do I have to register anywhere?
    How much does it cost?
    Where can I find my tutor/Who is my tutor?
    What kind of certificate I get when I complete the course?

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Kind Regards,


    Comment by Raul — April 21, 2010 @ 12:58 am

  45. THe zip file is not oppening!!
    Any other way to download the material?

    Comment by Raul — April 22, 2010 @ 12:16 am

  46. Dear Raul,

    I just tested the zip file and it opened perfectly. What application are you using to unzip the file? Perhaps you could download the trial version of winzip –

    Best regards


    Comment by Brendan Barrett — April 22, 2010 @ 9:47 am

  47. I’m speechless…..well done, Guys!

    It’s really a great job!
    I can see that more people will benefit from this website everyday….not just in daily rate, but exponentially!

    Keep up the good work….

    Jaya Saputro,
    Gadjah Mada University
    Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    Comment by Jaya Saputro — May 12, 2010 @ 10:09 am

  48. I am a Town Planner that wish to study the EIA process in more depth. Please provide feedback on your program.Thank you.
    Gerhard van der Merwe

    Comment by Gerhard van der Merwe — June 7, 2010 @ 5:04 am

  49. this is my first time to encounter such interesting literature on EIA even though i did it in my bachelors degree, i still feel it was not enough and now this offers me the opportunity to gain more insights into EIA .
    Thanks alot
    Adan Huluba
    Northern kenya.

    Comment by adan huluba — June 25, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  50. Sir,
    I am a civil engineering graduate working as consultant in infrastructure services. Sir, I do wish to join this course. So, please guide me how to join this course.

    Comment by Govind Chhawsaria — September 1, 2010 @ 12:22 am

  51. Hello, its brillient, Amazing……… but again it must be downloadable for to get maximum benifits.
    best regards

    Comment by Naeem Ahmad — September 2, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  52. Hi
    I find this open source useful.I am a climate change consultant.

    Is there any way that any certificates are issued for completing this course online?

    If yes that would really help me personally as well as professionally.



    Comment by chaitanya sangawar — September 29, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  53. Dear Sir/Madam,
    This module is very beneficial for me. There is very appreciated if you can provide in power point format. I hope it would be available near future.

    Kind regards,

    Ujak Kimia

    Comment by Ujak Kimia — October 13, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

  54. To whom it may concern:

    I am thankful that you have prepared a training module in EIA for free download. I am an Environmental Science student and my cognate is community development. We use EIA as one of the planning tools in preparing community development plans. This reference is very useful in the preparation of my report since I was assigned to discuss the EIA process.

    God bless!


    Comment by Vilma G. Limates — December 27, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  55. thank you for the great work you do. It is easy to understand the purpose of EIA.

    Comment by Florentina Majura — January 19, 2011 @ 4:38 am

  56. How could I do this course on line.

    Comment by Avnish — April 11, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  57. the challenge for a third world country is understanding the importance of an EIA, and being able to implement it.

    Comment by ekaete osokolo — May 31, 2011 @ 3:32 am

  58. Hi!

    This website is very informative and helpful to environmental professionals. I was wondering if there is any certifications course we can have it through the UNU.

    Thanks in advance!


    Comment by Thomas — July 4, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  59. Immensely important module, both, for students and professionals, alike. Great material. Thanks.

    Comment by SOURAV KUNDU — July 17, 2011 @ 2:19 am

  60. [...] United Nation University, UNEP, RMIT on line EIA course:  [...]

    Pingback by EM9106 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT | Lee Wee Nam Library Reserves — August 2, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  61. I am a student at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute in Naivasha taking a diploma course in Environmental Management. My aim is to pursue a course in EIA of which i am aware of very minor issues therefore am just making a request if you may make it possible for me to be seeking assistance from you as i try to make my dream come true. I will be grand if you find my request worth.

    Comment by purity munjiru njuguna — October 4, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

  62. I came across EIA in a seminar that I attended in 1995 sponsored by our school EARIST and conducted by University of the Philippines. Thanks for presenting the EIA process in this website. Hope to see also a separate website that features Environmental Science Module.

    Comment by OLIVE — November 15, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  63. How does this compare to the NEPA process used in the United States (National Environmental Policy Act)? I am a geologist who reviews and writes environmental assessments for mineral operations.

    Comment by Randall Porter — December 9, 2011 @ 6:34 am

  64. Hello Sir/ madam, I am very happy in getting the material found in your website that is very useful. I am a student of Ethiopian Civil Service University at the moment doing a masters in Urban Planning and Development. EIA is one of the portion included in the course and I have taken. In my Essay I like to do on Environment issues so I need additional support and materials from you and if possible please would you send me pdf. of ti . I hope many get to find it too from you.

    Comment by Gebeyehu — June 2, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

  65. hello

    thank you for a wondeful and empowering information.but would like to know which universities offers this course in south africa .

    Comment by Olivia — August 13, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  66. Dear Olivia,

    As far as we know, this course is not being offered by any universities in South Africa at present. They are, however, free to do so, if they wish.

    Brendan Barrett
    United Nations University

    Comment by brendan — August 21, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  67. Hi,

    Raul in 2011 asked the following questions and I also have similar questions. Kindly provide feedback on them.

    Do I have to register anywhere?
    How much does it cost?
    Where can I find my tutor/Who is my tutor?
    What kind of certificate I get when I complete the course?

    Comment by Tabuti — January 12, 2013 @ 2:17 am

  68. Dear Dr. Brendan Barrett,

    really i appreciated your dedication on this (EIA) back ground information. I think it also good, if you do the same way for the course “Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assitance” and “Climate, Energy and Food Security”.

    I ‘m a gis student, so i am interested on these courses. So how and when could i attend these courses?


    Comment by Gezahagn — March 21, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

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