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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Determination of Significant Impact

  1. Significant impact means any fundamental charge in the environment caused by a business or activity; section 16 of Law Number 4 of 1982 states that any proposed activity which is predicted to have a significant impact on the environment is required to be subjected to the environmental impact assessment process.
  2.  Impact significance for a business or activity pursuant to the Clarification of section 16 of Law Number 4 of 1982 and Chapters 2 and 3 of Government.
  • Regulation Number 51 of 1993 is determined by:
  • number of people affected by the impact; 
  • area extent of the impact;
  • duration of the impact;
  • intensity of the impact;
  • number of other environmental components affected by the impact;
  • cumulative nature of the impact;
  • reversibility or irreversibility of the impact.
3).Each of the factors as referred to in subsection 2 above consists of a set of impact significance criteria, i.e., specific measurements, standards or principles. The determination of impact significance shall be the basis for the evaluation of whether or not a business or activity may produce significant impacts on the environment.

4) The Guidelines for the Determination of Significant Impacts as defined herein shall constitute the basic guide providing direction for the determination of whether a proposed business or activity will have significant impacts on the environment.

5) The Guidelines for the Determination of Significant Impacts shall be used for screening a proposed business or activity and for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (ANDAL) along with other requirements of the EIA process for integrated/multi-sectoral projects, estates (AMDAL Kawasan) and regional development areas (AMDAL Regional).

6) To determine whether or not an environmental impact caused by the implementation of a proposed business or activity is significant, it is also necessary to pay due attention to applicable laws and regulations, both within and outside Indonesia.

7) A proposed business or activity which will be developed either in a protected area which has had its designation changed or which borders on a protected area, is categorized as producing significant impacts. The meaning of protected areas accordingly the Clarification of Chapter 7 of Law Number 24 of 1992

Concerning Spatial Use Management shall include the following:

forest protection areas; peat areas; water catchments area; coastal edges; river edges; areas surrounding lakes and reservoirs; areas surrounding springs; nature conservation areas (including nature reserves, wildlife reserves, tourism forests, biodiversity protection areas, and wildlife refuges); marine and freshwater conservation areas (including marine waters, fresh water bodies, coastal areas, estuaries, coral reefs and atolls which have a high diversity or unique ecosystem); coastal mangrove areas; national parks; recreation parks; nature parks; cultural reserve and scientific research areas (including karst areas, with special cultural features, archaeological sites or sites with high historical valued; areas of natural hazards.

Determination of significant impacts on the environment

1) The determination of the significance of impacts shall include the following basic considerations:

a. That the evaluation of the significance of an impact on the environment is related to the scale of the proposed business or activity, along with the effectiveness and efficiency of implementation of the business or activity.

b. That the evaluation of the significance of an impact on the environment may also be based on the impact of the business or activity on only one aspect of the environment or on its overall impacts, and on its inter-relationship with other environmental features within the given study area.

c. That the evaluation of the significance, positive or negative impacts cannot be considered as independent factors, but their respect weights and interrelationships should be considered in coming to a decision.

2) Guidelines Concerning the Determination of Significant Impacts

a) Number of People Affected by the Impact Each proposed business or activity has an objective related to the number of people expected to benefit once it is implemented. However, both positive and negative impacts which may be produced by a proposed business or activity may be borne by a number of people who may or may not have been included in the objectives of that business or activity. In view of the fact that the definition of people affected by the impact may cover a very broad range, the criteria for the determination of significant impacts should therefore be related to the basic principles or norms of life which have value in the society at large. Therefore, the environmental impacts of a proposed business or activity, as based on the social norms of the community and the number of people affected, are determined to be significant if:

- the people in the study area who are affected by the environmental impacts but do not benefit from the business or activity are of equal or greater number than those enjoying the benefits.

- The beneficiaries of the business or activity refer to those persons who directly benefit from the proposed business or activity or are directly involved as workers in the business or activity.

b) Area Extent of the Impact

The extent of the area experiencing an impact is one of the factors in determining the significance of an impact on the environment. In this regard, the environmental impact of a proposed business or activity shall be significant if:

- the proposed business or activity produces an area undergoing fundamental changes, in view of the aspects of impact intensity, irreversibility of the impact or the cumulative nature of the impact.

c) Duration of the Impact

Impacts of a proposed business or activity can arise from one or more of the various phases of the business or activity. In other words, the impact may be relatively brief, i.e., occurring only in a specific phase of the project cycle (planning) construction, operation, post-operation), while other impacts could take place over a longer period such as from the construction phase to the post-operation phase. Based on these considerations, the environmental impact will be con-sidered significant if:

- the proposed business or activity produces fundamental changes, in view of the aspects of impact intensity, irreversibility of the impact or the cumulative nature of the impact, lasting through one or more phases of the activity.

d) Intensity of the Impact

Impact intensity refers to major or drastic environmental changes which occur over a relatively wide area and over a short period of time. Hence, environmental impacts shall be deemed to be significant if:

I. the proposed business or activity will cause changes in the physical and/or biological characteristics of the environment which exceed them environmental quality standards as prescribed in applicable legislation;

II. the proposed business or activity will produce fundamental changes in environmental components which exceed recognized criteria based on scientific considerations;

III. the proposed business or activity will cause endemic and/or rare and/or protected species, and the prevailing laws, to become threatened with extinction or damage to their habitat;

IV. the proposed business or activity causes damage or disturbance to protected areas (conservation areas, nature reserves, national parks, wildlife reserves, etc.) as designated under applicable legislation;

V. the proposed business or activity damages or destroys valuable historical artifacts and structures;

VI. the proposed business or activity will cause conflict or controversy with or within the community and local administration or the central government,

VII. the proposed business or activity alters or modifies an area of great scenic beauty.

e) Number of Other Environmental Components Affected by the Impact

In view of the fact that in principle no environmental component is independent, or, in other words, that all environmental components are inter-related and influence each other, an impact on one environmental component will generally

lead to further impacts on other environmental components. In this regard, an impact shall be designated as significant if:

· the proposed business or activity produces secondary and other impacts for which the number of environmental components affected is greater than or equal to the number of components experiencing the primary impacts.

f) Cumulative Nature of the Impact

Cumulative means the attribute of increasing, adding to or accumulating. The impacts of a business or activity are said to be cumulative if, in the beginning, the impacts are not visible nor considered important, but as the activity is repeated or carried out continuously the impacts will, over time, become additive. Therefore, an impact of a business or activity is considered to be significant if:

i. the environmental impact occurs repeatedly and continually, so that eventually it can no longer be assimilated by the natural or social environment;

ii. ii) a variety of environmental impacts are concentrated in a given area, with the result that they cannot by assimilated by the natural or social environment;

iii. iii) the environmental impacts of various activities produce mutually strengthening (synergetic) effects.

g) Reversibility or Irreversibility of the Impact

Some impacts of activities on the environment are reversible, while others are irreversible, even with human intervention. In this regard, an impact will be considered to be significant if: environmental component will be irreversible, even with human intervention.

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