Introduction to EIAs A Guide to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) is a South African-based, non-governmental, non-profit conservation organisation founded in 1973. Its vision is of individual and collective environmental responsibility and bestows a duty of care on all as custodians of our natural wealth in the subcontinent. EWT identifies priority conservation needs and establishes and facilitates dedicated, multi-stakeholder Working Groups which coordinate activities such as research, mitigating threats to species and ecosystems, sustainable resource management and development, increasing environmental awareness and advocacy and hands-on conservation implementation. The EWT has thus invested significant resources into developing our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Toolkit. The project was initiated in response to unceasing queries from the general public, including many landowners and conservancies, seeking guidance from us on their rights and responsibilities and opportunities to participate in development planning processes. The EWT aims to facilitate a better understanding of, and participation in, the EIA process for ordinary South Africans. We have therefore developed what we hope is a practical, user-friendly EIA Toolkit that provides an outline of key EIA processes and lends assistance and guidance to all who need it. We hope you will find the Toolkit of significant value to you and will thus support our further endeavours in this regard.The EWT is committed to keeping the Toolkit up-to-date, accurate, relevant and helpful to you. As the Toolkit continues to be updated we welcome your comments, constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement.