In 2020 ERIAS was engaged by Total Waste Management (TWM) to undertake environmental and social baseline studies and an environmental impact statement (EIS) to support a Level 3 environment permit for the expansion of their integrated waste management facility in Roku, approximately 20 km from Port Moresby. ERIAS completed the EIS and accompanying construction environmental and social management plan (CESMP) to a highly compressed schedule with field surveys and EIS submission completed within six months.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ERIAS mobilised local field teams to undertake water and sediment sampling, terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity assessments, including ecosystem services, and stakeholder engagement and community surveys, which included discussions with the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) and government departments, neighbouring industrial organisations, Roku village leaders and the Roku Women’s Fellowship.
The local field team was supported by ERIAS personnel in Australia who collaborated on the development of the field data collection instruments and provided written procedures, training, and remote support to field personnel and technical direction. This approach, whereby our technical specialist can provide remote support to in-country teams has enabled ERIAS to continue to safely execute field programs in Papua New Guinea throughout the pandemic, providing capacity-building and up-skilling opportunities to our local personnel, and has allowed field data to continue to be captured to support rigorous impact assessment and prevent schedule delays for our clients. This model has now been successfully applied across a number of projects where thanks to our in-country personnel and extensive network of local specialists we are continuing to deliver projects for our clients in these challenging times.