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    Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessments

    Namibia has completed its review of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) strategy which illustrate its commitment towards a climate compatible development pathway that does not contribute towards global warming Greenhouse gases (GHGs). Initiative such as “ Green Hydrogen Energy Institute” respond directly to the National Climate Change Policy of Namibia as well as its Strategy and Action Plan regarding mitigation and co-benefits.
    Green Hydrogen Initiative potentially have environmental impacts as well as economic and social impacts. As a response to the NDC and National Climate Change Policy, the University of Namibia would like to take the lead in coordinating a National level initiative to develop Green Hydrogen Energy for Namibia. According to the Environmental Management Act (EMA) No.7 of 2007, Environmental clearance certificates are required for specific activities including: Energy generation, transmission and storage activities and Waste management, treatment, handling and disposal activities.
    Since feasibility studies listed in the Green Hydrogen Initiatives concepts fall in these categories (activities listed in EMA No.7 or 2007), a comprehensive Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) accompanied by Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on each of feasibility study will be conducted.

    According to EMA - Programmes, Strategic Plans and Policy initiatives requires an SEA and not an EIA. An EIA is required for projects (developmental projects). It is against this background that we propose an SEA to be accompanied by EIA on each feasibility study. The SEA will serve as a framework for all EIA because the proposed Initiative is a national programme.

    For each feasibility study an EIA will examine the potential effects on the environment of a proposal/feasibility study. In addition a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) will be conducted to develop an understanding of the current social environment and assessing the potential impacts of proposed developmental projects on the social environment in order to suggest mitigation measures.

    We understand that EIAs are multi-disciplinary in nature and as such need a team of expertise determined by the feasibility studies and aims of the proposed projects. The team leaders have the following attributes:

    • Knowledge of all applicable legislation and Environmental Assessment procedures in Namibia
    • Excellent project management abilities
    • Have adequate understanding of the projects to integrate all specialists studies into one document
    • Are both inter-disciplinary academics

    In addition to the team leaders, the SEA and EIAs assessments will be done by technical teams involved in the feasibility studies and will involve the following:

    • Scoping to identify priority issues to be addressed in EIAs and SEA.
    • Impact assessment to identify impacts of activities of the proposal on the various components of the environment (flora and fauna, geomorphology, soils and land, energy and water needs as well as climate change projections and mitigation potentials) the social environment (Heritage, culture, equity, entrepreneurship potential, consumption patterns, health and human well-being) and on waste management.
    • Conduct public and stakeholder engagements to present the proposed projects, potential impacts, assessment methodology and outcomes as well as draft EMP for their input as per EMA guidelines.
    • Mitigation assessment to identify ways in which negative impacts can be avoided or minimised to limit the costs and damage to the environment, and ways in which positive impacts can be enhanced to ensure maximum benefit.
    • Draft the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to indicate impacts and mitigation measures during construction, operation, and if needed decommissioning of the proposed feasibility projects. The monitoring plan will also be part of this draft.
    • Geo-information scientists will develop the Decision Support Tool that will produce a spatial map for the draft EMP report.