The Office of Environmental and Social Assessments is responsible for NIMOS’ oversight of the EA and social assessment process, the preparation of environmental audits, the preparation of sectoral and regional environmental and social assessments, and the design of a system of environmental and social standards and regulations. In addition, the Office will take prime responsibility in developing and maintaining relations between NIMOS and industry. Specifically, the Office carries out the following tasks:
1. Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Social Assessments (SAs)
The Office will:
2. Regional and sectoral environmental assessments and reviews
The Office determines the need for and supervises special EA’s such as sector environmental assessments and regional environmental assessments.
Possible subjects for sectoral assessments are: urban and industrial waste management, agriculture and fishing; forestry (forest resource concessions over 50,000 hectares); mining; roads and transportation. Possible targets for regional assessments are: the Greenstone Belt – social and environmental impacts of small scale mining; Paramaribo metropolitan area; the coastal zone, or parts of it.
The Office also takes responsibility for environmental review and approval of proposed sector plans, such as a Forestry Master Plan and mining concessions as well as regional land use and coastal zone management plans developed prior to the establishment of NIMOS.
3. Environmental audits
The Office determines the need for and supervises environmental audits of existing industrial, agricultural and municipal installations and activities aimed at correcting existing environmental problems. This task is important especially at the beginning of NIMOS’ existence to assist in identifying unknown problems, asses their scope and severity, and to set priorities for action. Possible targets for such audits are: Saramacca Canal and the associated industrial area; the use of pesticides in agriculture; Sewage collection, treatment, and disposal in Paramaribo.
4. Standards and regulations
The Office will identify the needs for environmental standards, determine priorities, assess existing standards in other countries, and propose a system suitable to the particular conditions of Suriname.
5. Cooperation with Industry
The Office also takes a lead role in developing a close collaboration between NIMOS and private industry. Areas of cooperation between NIMOS and industry could be: