Assist Environmental Agency staff in a Review of an Impact Assessment

Activity/project background

Partner: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Guyana (Government)

The Environmental Protection Act, No. 11 of 1996, establishes the requirement for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Part IV of the Act requires all developers of any project listed in the fourth schedule, or any other project that may significantly affect the environment, to apply to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Guyana for an Environmental Permit. The Agency currently utilizes a screening tool to determine whether an EIA is required. Given the changes in Guyana’s economic, social, technological, and physical landscape, there is need for a new tool that will effectively address the current needs of the Agency.

The EPA of Guyana is requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to assist agency staff to review and update the existing screening tool used for assessing project impacts and to determine whether an EIA is required. The tool should be able to definitively identify projects that are likely to have significant effects on the environment. The Screening Tool is intended to ensure transparency and effective public disclosure.

The organization has previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Support EPA staff to conduct a desk review of other screening tools used by other Regulatory Bodies and review the current Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening tool of the EPA to assess accuracy, reliability, and international standard
• Co-review screening reports to assess impact identification and significance
• Assist in a process to amend and update the EIA Screening tool to include a mathematical formula or scale to assist the overall assessment
• Train staff to understand requirements for use of an EIA and for development of an Environmental Assessment and Management Plan (EAMP)
• Co-develop manual for the use of EIA Screening Tool

This engagement is expected to be approximately 15 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, Mondays to Fridays 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Guyana time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, email, and WhatsApp for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, natural resources management, or related field

• 3 years’ experience working in environmental management and/or environmental policy
• Experience with the EIA Process
• Familiar with the development with environmental regulatory instruments
• Excellent communication and presentation skills

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Graduate degree in Environmental Studies/ Science or Natural Sciences/ Engineering

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Experience: At least 5 years’ experience working in environmental management and policy making

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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