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Environmental impact assessment and management: An underexplored relationship

Bailey, J. (1997) Environmental impact assessment and management: An underexplored relationship. Environmental Management, 21 (3). pp. 317-327.

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Some 25 years of environmental impact assessment (EIA) practice has seen the development of a wealth of experience. The bulk of our exposure to EIA exists in the form of actual practice, perhaps recorded as published case studies. There also exists a substantial literature reporting the results of empirical and theoretical research. In this paper a perceived deficiency in the theoretical literature is identified. This deficiency lies in the exploration of the relationship between EIA and subsequent environmental management. In this paper the existing body of theory is reviewed to highlight the need for further attention to be paid to the EIA/management relationship. In particular it is shown that the majority of the literature to date has concentrated on the influence of EIA leading up to and including the decision to proceed or not with the proposed action. Less attention has been paid to the extension of the influence of EIA beyond this point to inform the process of ongoing environmental management. This relationship is then explored by reference to the Western Australian EIA system. One of the strengths of this system is its focus upon the implementation and management of proposed developments. The outcome of EIA is generally an approval to proceed with the development subject to meeting a suite of environmental design and management objectives.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Springer Verlag
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