The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Report
The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) commissioned by UNDP to assess the impacts of Stora Enso’s forest plantation project in Guangxi was released in Nanning on March 29 2006 in the presence of the Vice-Governor Mr. Guo Shengun and Mr. Renaud Meyer, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in China. The ESIA Report presents a thorough study of the impact of the investment project on the environment and the social fabric of the local communities. It also offers several recommendations that, if implemented, could address and mitigate the challenges highlighted in the ESIA Report. UNDP wishes to use this initiative to demonstrate the potential of ESIAs to promote sustainable development and the positive contribution of Public-Private Partnerships to China’s development. ESIAs are still relatively new to China. UNDP hopes the successful results of its partnership with Stora Enso and the local government of Guangxi Province will prompt interest from other large scale commercial and public projects and serve as a model for similar ESIAs to be conducted in China. Community-oriented investments are crucially important to create local employment and wealth, while sustaining the environment. UNDP believes the ESIA will help Stora Enso make a positive contribution to the expanding estate of commercial plantation in China and offer a benchmark for operational best practices for large-scale investment projects. It may also play a role in the Chinese government’s goal of achieving sustainable development through enhanced Public Private Partnerships.