The Importance Of Public Participation In Environmental Impact Assessment

2006 Words 9 Pages
It is essential to discuss participation in EIA as a component and reflection of the general development of public engagement in environmental decision-making. Wood (2003), Glucker et al. (2013) claim that public participation is an essential part of the success of EIA.
Public involvement in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
The definition of public participation in EIA is often used interchangeably to involvement, engagement, consultation, and sometimes with little attention to their differing objectives and potential outcomes.
From the social and political point of views, public participation is often stressing on the moral belief and democratic process, that everyone has right to be informed, to be consulted, and to express personal
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The identification of relevant interest groups can be fraught with difficulty because it changes over time from project to project. Beierle and Cayford (2002), Wood (2003), Glasson et al. (2013) broadly classify public in EIA into two main groups that can have different resources and interests. The first group is voluntary groups and issues-based pressure groups. These groups might have professional and financial resources that concentrate on specific aspects of development. Their participation may as a way to gain national publicity or political points. The second group is the people living close to the project development, who may be directly affected by it. Local people may have low literate, technical or financial resources, and unfamiliar with relevant procedures to put their points across effectively. A diverse of publics thus exits from a wide variety of backgrounds and opinions, which may conflict with those of the other groups and EIA experts (Palerm, 1999, Glasson et al., 2013). Therefore, participation in EIA may be rightly controlled by regulation specifying the groups and organisations that are eligible to participate or by criteria identifying those considered to be directly affected by a development (O 'Faircheallaigh, 2010, Wood, 2003, …show more content…
The effective participation process in the EIA provides procedural tools and knowledge for participants to make the best possible decisions. The way information is transferred can influence public participation. For instance, highly technical information can be understood by only a small proportion of the public. Information in different media will reach different sectors of the public. Thus, Diduck and Sinclair (2002), (Richmond et al., 2013) state that ensuring the participation of marginalised groups in an environmental decision making may be a special concern for conveying information in EIA process. A greater focus on the process should assist in the most effective choice of methods and techniques through an understanding of the impact on outcomes relating to social as well as decision priorities (Glucker et al., 2013). Effective participation requires the public to understand the objectives and remit including the limitations of the process, which is why selections methods are important as a communication tool (Diduck and Sinclair, 2002, Sinclair and Diduck, 2001, Wiklund,

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