Terms of Reference
The following is a sample Terms of Reference for EIA from the World Bank.
Sample Terms of Reference for EIA
Introduction: state the purpose of the terms of reference.
Background information: briefly describe the need for, objectives of and major components of the proposal.
Objectives: summarise the scope of the EIA and timing in relation to project preparation, design, and approval.
EIA requirements: identify the regulations and guidelines governing the conduct of the EIA and/or specify the content of its report.
Study area: outline the time, space and jurisdictional boundaries of the study.
Scope of work: identify the tasks to be carried out, information deficiencies to be addressed, studies to be carried out, methodologies etc.
Task 1. Description of the proposed project: provide a brief description of the relevant parts of the project, using maps (at appropriate scale) where necessary.
Task 2. Description of the environment: assemble, evaluate and present baseline data on the relevant environmental characteristics of the study area. Include information on any changes anticipated before the project commences.
Task 3. Legislative and regulatory considerations: describe the pertinent regulations and standards governing environmental quality, health and safety, protection of sensitive areas, protection of endangered species, siting, land use control, etc.
Task 4. Determination of the potential impacts of the proposed project: distinguish between significant positive and negative impacts, direct and indirect impacts, and immediate and long-term impacts. Identify impacts that are unavoidable or irreversible. Wherever possible, describe impacts quantitatively, in terms of environmental costs and benefits.
Task 5. Analysis of alternatives to the proposed project: describe alternatives that were examined in the course of developing the proposed project and identify other alternatives which would achieve the same objective.
Task 6. Development of management plan to mitigate negative impacts: recommend feasible and cost-effective measures to prevent or reduce significant negative impacts to acceptable levels and describe the actions necessary to implement them.
Task 7. Identification of institutional needs to implement environmental assessment recommendations: review the authority and capability of institutions at local, provincial/regional, and national levels. Recommend steps to strengthen or expand them so that the management and monitoring plans in the environmental assessment can be implemented.
Task 8. Development of a monitoring plan: prepare a detailed plan to monitor the implementation of mitigation measures and the impacts of the project during construction and operation.
Task 9. Public/NGO participation and inter-agency co-ordination: describe how the arrangements for obtaining the views of local NGOs and affected groups, and in keeping records of meetings and other activities, communications, and comments and their deposition.
EIA report: keep it concise and limited to significant environmental issues. The main text should focus on findings, conclusions and recommended actions, supported by summaries of the data collected and citations for any references used.
World Bank (1991) Environmental Assessment Sourcebook (three volumes). Technical Papers No. 139, World Bank, Washington D.C.