The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment

The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment

Conceptual and Methodological Advances

Elgar original reference

Edited by Henk A. Becker and Frank Vanclay

This important Handbook presents an indispensable overview of the range of new methods and of the conceptual advances in Social Impact Assessment (SIA). Recent increased attention to social considerations has led to substantial development in the techniques useful to, and the thinking in, SIA. A distinguished group of contributors provides an up-to-date and comprehensive account of the cutting-edge in SIA development.

Chapter 5: Integrating Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

Roel Slootweg, Frank Vanclay and Marlies van Schooten

Subjects: economics and finance, valuation, environment, environmental sociology, research methods in the environment, valuation, politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, research methods in social policy, sociology and sociological theory

Extract

Roel Slootweg, Frank Vanclay and Marlies van Schooten Introduction There is a growing concern about the environmental and social consequences of development efforts. The developed world potentially faces enormous costs due to the need to restore and protect the environment in order to safeguard natural resources for future generations. Developing countries must consider how their social and economic development can be combined with protection of the environment and preservation of their natural resources. This should be regarded, not as a luxury, but as a necessity for sustainable development. When applied in the earliest stages of the decision-making process, environmental impact assessment (EIA) and social impact assessment (SIA) can become important project planning instruments. They provide information on the consequences of specific development activities in such a way that these consequences can be taken into account and used in the process leading to a final decision and in designing mitigation measures. Proper application of EIA and SIA can significantly improve the quality of project proposals and will eventually lead to important savings on project implementation because of reduced negative impacts and better acceptance of the project objectives. Since the publication of the Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) and the United Nations Conference on Evironment and Development (UNCED), or Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the concept of sustainable development has gained wide acceptance. The idea that environment and development are strongly interrelated is now recognized by many. Further, poverty and gender assessments are likely to become widely...

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