This chapter has a twofold objective: first, to provide an overview of the EIA process and its governance; and, second, to introduce the handbook and its chapters. Based on an integrative literature review, the chapter explains the nature of EIA and its key procedural stages. Particular emphasis is given to differences in concepts and terminologies around the world. The chapter then introduces the historical challenges of EIA governance and highlights the influence of legal frameworks and stakeholders' expectations on EIA implementation. Finally, the chapter introduces the handbook's main parts and chapters and emphasizes their key contributions to theory and practice.

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