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The Environmental Appraisal of National Park Management Plans in England and Wales

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The Countryside Agency has recommended that national park authorities (NPAs) undertake an environmental appraisal of their national park management plans. A study of the appraisal practices of the NPAs of England and Wales has shown that, despite this guidance, the practice of environmental appraisal is uncommon but that a culture of applying sustainability appraisal is evolving. It is argued that the most likely explanation for this situation is the increasing influence of the concept of sustainable development on the workings of the national park management system. This broad policy development has manifested itself in a variety of ways, including the production of government guidance relating to sustainability appraisal and changes in best practice, each of which have influenced appraisal procedures in national parks. The wider implications of, and drivers behind, the evolution of appraisal procedure towards sustainability appraisal are thus identified and then discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Planning and Landscape, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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