KAMPALA, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Uganda's environment watchdog on Monday announced the approval of an Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) submitted by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) as one of the steps to pave the way for the commercial production of oil in the east African country.
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) said in a joint statement with the CNOOC that after scrutinizing the ESIA, including asking CNOOC to make some changes, the Chinese oil firm has been given a certificate as one of the major stages for it to proceed in the development of the Kingfisher project.
"We are pleased to issue this certificate in line with the principle of sustainable development. NEMA shall continue to maintain an efficient mechanism for sustainable environment and natural resource management," said Tom Okurut, executive director of NEMA.
Zhao Shunqiang, the chief of the CNOOC Uganda, described the acquisition of the certificate as a milestone.
The ESIA studies were carried out to establish the potential positive and negative social and environmental impacts of the proposed projects. Oil companies are required under Ugandan law to undertake ESIA studies and submit to the NEMA for approval before execution of a project.