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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Environmental Impact Assessment

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One of the foundations of sustainable development is efficient environmental management (UNEP 2002). However, balancing the needs of current generations without compromising the environment for future generations poses to be quite problematic. A number of environmental decision-making instruments have been developed in an attempt to ensure that development is sustainable. One of the most popular of these is environmental impact assessment (EIA). This essay will be based on the strengths and limitations of an Environmental Impact Assessment. Environmental impact assessment is referred to as a policy and management tool for both planning and decision-making (Glasson et al, 2005). This essay will be divided into four sections. The first section…show more content…
EIAs promote the development that is sustainable and maximizes the usage of resources and management opportunities (Glasson, 1999). EIA is recognized internationally as an imperative tool to be used in guiding individuals on the path to sustainable development. Therefore, a crucial purpose of an EIA is to promote environmentally sound and sustainable development through the identification of appropriate enhancement and mitigation measures (UNEP, 2002). EIA has to ensure that development proposals do not challenge critical resources and ecological functions, welfare, lifestyle and livelihood of the communities and people who depend on them (UNEP,…show more content…
These assessments are often poor. Alternatives put forward tend to be unrealistic in order to favour the option the applicant wants to implement. The regulations also require the applicant to illustrate the need and desirability of the project, which is often not done (Hutton and Tefford, 2003). Impact mitigation Insufficient information provided on recommended mitigation measures; little indication of the practicality, reliability and potential effectiveness of the mitigation measures and problems with measures which are recommended that don’t address identified impacts. Unexpected impact Follow-up sometimes reveals unexpected impacts related to a project. Unexpected impacts are ones which were not anticipated or dealt with in the EIR. They may be positive or negative; but because they are unexpected there are unlikely to be mitigation measures in place to deal with them (Lawrence, 2003). The follow-up process therefore needs to be adaptive enough to cope with this The purpose of an EIA is to present information, so that it can inform the decision-making process (Canter, 1996). In order to do so the information contained in an EIA must be adequate and clearly presented. Review should form an integral part of EIA (DEAT,
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