EIA Course Module


This open educational resource on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is based on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) EIA Training Resources Manual, Second Edition, edited by Barry Sadler and Mary McCabe. The EIA-wiki also includes the UNEP compendium of "Studies of EIA Practice in Developing Countries".  These publications were initially developed by UNEP in response to the demand for training and capacity building in environmental impact assessment, in particular from developing countries and to provide a list of case studies on how EIA is implemented.  The content of the EIA course module is based on the first 11 training topics of UNEP's EIA Training Resources Manual and was edited and modified by subject matter experts from RMIT University in Australia.

United Nations University Online Learning was responsible for project coordination and development of this resource. Working collaboratively with RMIT University and UNEP ETB, UNU sought to:

* To provide the most advanced knowledge and information on Environmental Impact Assessment;

* To design modularity and flexibility into the educational resource so that it is adaptable to the various learning styles and virtual learning environments of partnering institutions;

* To design a course module that facilitates editing, updating and replacement of course content by partnering institutions;

* To develop a course module that meets, or can be adapted to meet, institutional requirements of educational programmes among partners; and

* To ensure that the learner experience is entertaining and engaging as well as educational by integrating various rich-media into the course.

The open educational resource is to be utilized at RMIT University and elsewhere to support existing teaching programmes, including the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. The resource is also available to students on the Global Environment and Development Studies (GEDS) Masters programme of the UNU Global Virtual University. Financial support for the development of this open educational resource came from the Government of Norway, via the Global Virtual University and directly from the UNU.


United Nations University

The UNU was established in 1973 by the UN General Assembly with a mission is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. UNU's efforts are divided into two major themes (Peace and Governance, and Environment and Sustainable Development) and the University serves as an international community of scholars; a bridge between the UN and the academic community; a think-tank for the UN system; and a builder of capacities, particularly in developing countries. The University implements its activities through a network of research and training centres distributed across the globe. In 2002, the UNU set up an Online Learning unit and one year later established a Media Studio in Tokyo responsible for the development of online courses, e-case studies and other open educational resources.

UNEP Economics and Trade Branch

UNEP Economics and Trade Branch (UNEP-ETB) is based in Geneva, Swizerland and is a programme of the UNEP Economics and Trade Unit in the Department of Technology, Industry and the Economics focusing on the understanding the relationships between economics, trade and finance interact with the environment at the local, regional and global levels, and ultimate increase this awareness among decision-makers in government to integrate environmental issues within macro-economic and trade-related policies.  As part of UNEP-ETB's programme activities to develop practical methodologies for environmental management, the EIA Training Resources Manual and compendium of Studies of EIA Practice in Developing Countries were published to help build local capacity to develop EIA procedures and legislation, conduct EIA's and monitor and evaluate their implementation in developing countires.

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University

Established in 1887, RMIT University has grown to become one of the largest universities in Australia with more than 57,000 students studying at campuses in Melbourne, Australia and Vietnam.

RMIT University offers more than 200 higher education and vocational education programmes across a broad range of fields.

RMIT is an innovative, global university, with its heart in the city of Melbourne. It has an international reputation for excellence in work-relevant education and high quality research designed to meet the needs of industry and community.



Development of this open educational resource would not have been possible without the vision and leadership of Dr. Hussein Abaza, Director of UNEP Economics and Trade Branch in Geneva. Dr. Abaza was responsible for the publication of the UNEP EIA Training Resources Manual and was very supportive of the idea of translating the manual into an open educational resource.

Barry Sadler also played a key role in the development of this open educational resource. Professor Sadler co-edited the UNEP EIA Training Resources Manual and kindly cooperated with UNU Online Learning as the subject matter expert for the interactive multimedia and video.

Last but not least, we would like to acknowledge the excellent work of Dr. Ralph Horne and Dr. Ian Thomas of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, who edited the course materials, created the evaluations and developed the instructional guide for the course module.

Course Production

Brendan Barrett, UNU Academic Programme Officer
Gerard Brady, UNU Course Developer
Sean Wood, UNU Creative Director
David Jimenez, UNU Interactive Media Designer
Luis Patron, UNU Educational Technologist
Jonathan Snook, Web Developer (snook.ca)
leg Butuzov, Web Programmer
Koji Toukubo, Systems Engineering, Technical Support