Investigating communication of findings in Environmental Impact Assessment and developing a research agenda for improvement

Bond, Alan ORCID:, Retief, Francois, Morrison-Saunders, Angus, Pope, Jenny, Alberts, Reece C, Roos, Claudine and Cilliers, Dirk (2024) Investigating communication of findings in Environmental Impact Assessment and developing a research agenda for improvement. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 105. ISSN 0195-9255

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Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) aims to embed consideration of the significance of predicted environmental consequences (the findings) of proposed developments into approval decision making. Achieving this aim relies on adequate communication of the findings of the EIA to the stakeholders, especially the decision makers responsible for the approval decision. However, the naïve assumption that this communication of findings can be effectively achieved through the publication of a written report pervades legislation worldwide, despite decades of evidence to the contrary. As a first step towards improving such communication, this research identifies the contingent conditions associated with effectively transferring EIA findings from an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to decision makers and other stakeholders based upon literature review. The transmission of meaning is found to be the major theme underpinning good communication, subdivided into discourse, readability, and legitimacy. Based on a clearer understanding of the limitations associated with an EIS as a communication medium, and acknowledging there are likely to be better mechanisms for transferring the meaning of the findings of an EIA to decision makers and other stakeholders, a pragmatic research agenda is outlined. This includes some initial suggestions of other research fields (like semiotics and social psychology), or technologies (like AI) that may provide learning and improvement opportunities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: environmental impact assessment,; environmental impact statement,communication,meaning,semiotics,social psychology,verbatim,gist,environmental science(all),3*,internatioinbally relevant and agenda setting ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2024 18:28
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:28
DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2024.107453

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