Improving the Public Participation Process in EIA in Nepal regarding Hydropower Plants: A Context Specific Approach

Jon Munch-Petersen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This thesis investigates the public participation (PP) process of environmental impact assessments (EIA) of three large scale hydropower plant (HP) case studies in Nepal, with the aim of improving the PP process to accommodate the interests and needs of local citizens impacted by these HPs. The degree of utilization of PP into EIA is determined by the willingness of proponents (an individual conceptualization of the owner of the HP construction) to share decision-making with citizens. It is the theoretical standpoint of this thesis that improvements to the PP process can only be implemented within a given context wherein the proponent allows it. With reference to O’faircheallaigh (2010) such proponent allowance is set by their purposes for utilizing PP. Through a comparison between the PP process as it is written in the Nepali EIA law, the execution of it by proponents and the citizen experience with this execution, discrepancies are identified and analysed in accordance to why they are seen and what they imply in terms decision-making processes. Recommendations for improving the PP process as experienced by citizens is proposed by seeking solutions to overcome the identified discrepancies and secondly through new methods and timing of PP. Three authors have been put to use for this theoretical exercise: Sherry R Arnstein and her theory on the Ladder of Citizen Participation, The article from O’faircheallaigh (2010) on purposes for utilizing PP and UNEP (2004) on “good practice” in timing and methods of PP into EIA. The results of the thesis shows that the PP process in all three cases is experienced executed top-down. Regulatory changes have to be made in order to incorporate PP better into EIA and incentives for complying with EIA legislature for (especially) corporate proponents need to be enforced.

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato4 sep. 2014
VejledereSøren Lund


  • Public Participation
  • Hydropower plant
  • EIA
  • Nepal