Theory, Practise and Quality Assurance
Evaluating Sustainable Development series
Edited by Anneke von Raggamby and Frieder Rubik
Chapter 6: Integrated Approaches for Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Tools: The Example of Land Use
Katharina Helming, Ignacio de la Flor and Katharina Diehl ___________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION For policy-makers, impact assessment is a means to better target policy decisions towards sustainable development. For researchers, impact assessment is a means to structure the analysis of human-environment interactions. The integration of both provides scientific evidence to policymaking, but requires a mutual understanding of the respective objectives and operational restrictions within the scientific and policy-making domains. In the European Union, ex-ante impact assessment for policy-making is carried out in six steps (European Commission 2009a). After having identified the policy problem, the objectives are defined and the main policy options are developed. For every option, the intended and unintended impacts on social, economic and environmental system variables are analysed and compared. Policy-makers articulate their need for scientific support in the form of tools or methods that are easy to use, flexible and robust (Thiel, 2009). Inventories of scientific tools revealed the existence of a comprehensive choice of methods for a variety of policy fields (IVM 2006; Böhringer and Löschel 2006). However, most of these tools cover isolated aspects of impact assessment such as scenario analysis or accounting approaches, but do not provide a comprehensive framework for analysing causal chain relationships between policy-induced system changes and corresponding system responses (Lotze-Campen 2008). Moreover, most impact assessments have focused thus far on better regulation and policy efficiency, while less effort has been put into creating a balanced impact analysis of all three sustainability dimensions (Jacob et al. 2007). 91 92 Sustainable Development,...
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