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Free Content Contributing to sustainability as an environmental impact assessment practitioner

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Abstract:

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the pre-eminent regulatory tool used worldwide in the name of sustainable development. Whilst it may not be perfect for this purpose, and recognising that project-based EIA has been soundly criticised for its perceived failings, it remains the preferred and most widely used tool for project-level assessment and the key (if not only) sustainable development-oriented tool in many countries. Drawing on examples and experience from Southern Africa and Australia, we urge practitioners to raise the bar on day-to-day EIA activities that will push the vectors of sustainability. We can all achieve positive gains for the environmental, social and economic parameters of development proposals through informed professionalism and the pursuit of best practice. Given that EIA is well enshrined in legislation worldwide, it is our responsibility as practitioners to use this important tool to maximise opportunities for sustainability.

Keywords: AUSTRALIA; BEST PRACTICE; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT; SOUTHERN AFRICA; SUSTAINABILITY; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3152/146155108X316423

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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