Chapter 1: Introduction: Foundations, issues and contemporary challenges in cumulative impact assessment
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This chapter provides an entry point to the Handbook of Cumulative Impact Assessment, the third volume in an international series of Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment, edited by Frank Vanclay. The chapter begins by defining cumulative impacts or effects and the need to assess and manage them. It then explores important foundational concepts in cumulative effects assessment (CEA), including types of cumulative effects and cumulative effects issues. Next, it briefly outlines some of the contemporary challenges facing CEA practitioners. Toward the end of the chapter, the structure and contents of the Handbook are detailed for the reader. A synopsis of each author’s or team’s contribution is given. The Handbook, which consists of 21 chapters, is divided into four parts: Foundations and Development; Approaches and Tools; Cumulative Impact Assessment in Practice; and Impact Management.