710-i. Bolivia Capacity Development
Between 2003 and 2013, the NCEA has contributed in various ways to SEA capacity building in Bolivia. Activities were implemented in two phases (2004-2006 and 2007-2011) and were concluded in 2012 and 2013 with an exit strategy aiming at consolidating SEA experiences and ensuring continued SEA capacity development.
Process and activities
In 2003, the NCEA contributed to a workshop on EIA capacity development in Bolivia, as requested by the Netherlands Embassy and Bolivia's Ministry for Sustainable Development. During this workshop, the Ministry and the NCEA decided to start a 3- to 5-year structural cooperation in order to develop EIA guidelines and review EIA reports. In 2004, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Bolivia drafted a multi-annual plan for 2004-2007 in which EIA and SEA were prioritized. The NCEA assisted the Ministry in preparing this plan. Specific activities in this phase of the cooperation were:
- Participation in a workshop on modernization of the EIA system and introduction of SEA;
- Assistance in pilot SEAs for Puerto Busch harbour and railway development and for Salar de Uyini minerals exploitation;
- Organization of an SEA workshop for high-level decision-makers and technical staff of the Vice Ministry, other sector ministries, NGOs, universities and advisors.
Political instability in Bolivia resulted in a suspension of the planned activities in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, the Ministry presented a new multi-annual plan (2006-2010), on which the NCEA provided comments. The NCEA's involvement in SEA activities in Bolivia was revived in a second phase of the programme, implemented between 2007 and 2011. Major activities in this phase were:
- Advice on ToR for an SEA for the Madera river basin;
- Contribution to two SEA capacity development workshops;
- Comments on a manual for SEA capacity building and use of the final manual in an SEA workshop;
- Comments on draft SEA regulations;
- Advice on ToR for and review of an SEA in the oil and gas sector;
- Advice on an EIA for a geo-thermical plant;
- Advice on ToR for an SEA for the Vivir con el Agua (Living with Water) programme;
- Organization of a workshop on recent development in SEA and ongoing SEAs in Bolivia;
- Advice on ToR for an SEA for agrarian/land reform.
Implementation of activities in this second phase was slowed down due to constant staff changes at the Ministry of Environment.
Since 2011, Bolivia was one of the 'exit countries' of the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs. The NCEA therefore drafted an exit strategy in that year, aimed at consolidating SEA in Bolivia and ensuring continued capacity development. As part of the exit strategy, the NCEA has among others conducted the following activities:
- Support in systematic documentation of SEA experiences;
- Development of an SEA distant learning course to facilitate continuous capacity development on SEA.
An independent evaluation on the NCEA's Bolivia Capacity Development programme was conducted in 2010. This evaluation identified several positive developments to which the NCEA contributed, including:
- The Bolivian Environmental Ministry takes more responsibility in environmental governance;
- SEA capacity and institutionalization have improved;
- SEA is broadly applied, in different sectors (e.g. hydrocarbons/water);
- The number of Bolivian owned SEAs has grown from 2 in 2003 to 10 in 2011;
- Interest in integrated planning has increased in Bolivia;
- High-level government officials actively promote SEA;
- People who participated in SEA pilots apply similar methodologies in their own SEA work;
- SEA regulation is ready to be approved;
- SEA is even done without a legal or donor requirement - on a voluntary basis.
The evaluation also concluded that the context for SEA in Bolivia is still difficult: government staff is often unavailable and/or changes frequently, there are no consultants with an SEA background, and administrative procedures are difficult and lengthy. Nevertheless, within this constraining environment, SEA has improved significantly since 2003.
Members of the working group
Technical secretary: ms I.A. Steinhauer
Last modified: 05 Apr 2019