UNEP defines EIA as a tool used to identify the environmental, social and economic impacts of a project prior to decision-making. 

  • It aims to predict environmental impacts at an early stage in project planning and design, find ways and means to reduce adverse impacts, shape projects to suit the local environment and present the predictions and options to decision-makers. 

The objective of EIA is 

  • to identify, predict and evaluate the economic, environmental and social impact of development activities 
  • to provide information on the environmental consequences for decision making and 
  • to promote environmentally sound and sustainable development through the identification of appropriate alternatives and mitigation measures.