Regulators’ perceptions of environmental impact assessment (EIA) benefits in a sustainable development context

Roos, Claudine, Cilliers, Dirk, Retief, Francois, Alberts, Reece and Bond, Alan ORCID: (2020) Regulators’ perceptions of environmental impact assessment (EIA) benefits in a sustainable development context. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 81. ISSN 0195-9255

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The costs of conducting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are well known. Yet the benefits of EIA are much more intangible, leading to a situation where some question its value as the tool of choice for informing decision makers of the sustainability consequences of their actions. Exponents of EIA have thus called for more research on the benefits of EIA in order to provide better evidence on its costs versus benefits, and therefore its value as a decision-making tool. This paper contributes to this evidence by exploring the perceived potential benefits and perceived realised benefits of EIA from a regulators’ perspective in the context of sustainable development. Using South Africa as a case study, one third of all the officials responsible for EIA review and decision-making (referred to in this paper as the “regulator”) were surveyed to identify their perceptions of the benefits of EIA, and their ideas on how to bridge the gap between potential benefits and realised benefits. The paper contributes suggestions for the analysis of benefits in a sustainable development context, and identifies some additional benefits currently missing from the literature. In a South African context, the key potential and realised benefits as perceived by regulators are the protection of biodiversity, public participation, access to information, mitigation of environmental impacts, and legal compliance and enforcement.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: benefits of eia,sustainable development,perceptions,regulators,quadruple bottom line,regulators,benefits of eia,perceptions,quadruple bottom line,sustainable development,system,quality,risk,lessons,public-participation,perspectives,environmental science(all),decision sciences(all),geography, planning and development,management, monitoring, policy and law,ecology ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 04:13
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 05:39
DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2019.106360

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