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Applying sustainability assessment models

Pope, Jennifer, Morrison-Saunders, A. and Annandale, D. (2005) Applying sustainability assessment models. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 23 (4). pp. 293-302.

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Three sustainability assessment models are applied to a major Australian resource proposal- the Gorgon gas development. 'Environmental impact assessment (EIA)-driven integrated assessment' resulted in significant environmental resources being 'traded' for socio-economic benefits. 'Objectives-led integrated assessment' seeks to maximise social, economic and environmental objectives set by decision-makers. The Gorgon assessment focused on meeting the proponent's strategic objectivs, thus missing an opportunity to maximise benefits for the wider community. 'Assessment for sustainability' uses sustainability criteria determined by society. The Western Australian Government has recently begun to derive such criteria and the Gorgon proposal would have failed to meet some of them. The actual Gorgon assessment was conducted within a sustainability framework, but the EIA-based aproach used did not result in sustainable outcomes. An 'assessment for sustainability' approach offers the most promising avenue for future applications.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Beech Tree Publishing / IAIA
Copyright: © IAIA 2005
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