The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) said yesterday it had reduced Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) fees from 1,5 percent of project cost in an effort to improve the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe. In a statement, EMA said charges would now be based on a “sliding scale” with small impact projects paying a fee of $210, moderate impact projects paying 0,8 percent of project cost while high impact projects would pay one percent.Extremely high impact projects would pay 1,2 percent of the total project cost.
EMA said the reduction was intended to promote investment in the country.
“The new fee structure is aimed at boosting sustainable investment in the country as we endeavour to balance environmental, economic and social components in a growing green economy,” it said.
The reduced fees also come with a flexible payment system, with investors involved in moderate impact to extremely high impact projects allowed to stagger the fee payments..
An EIA is a planning tool used to identify, predict and assess potential impacts, either negative or positive, that may arise from planned projects, and come up with ways to minimise negative impacts and enhance positive ones. In Zimbabwe, all projects listed in the First schedule of the Environmental Management Act are called prescribed activities and should undergo the EIA process before implementation. – New Ziana.