Conceptual and Methodological Advances
Edited by Henk A. Becker and Frank Vanclay
Chapter 18: Environmental Mediation
Helen Ross Introduction The term ‘environmental mediation’ is used very broadly in the literature to encompass all forms of environmental dispute settlement other than litigation (Crowfoot and Wondolleck, 1990; Bingham, 1986; Sandford, 1990). It is similar to the use of the term ‘alternative dispute resolution’ (ADR). In environmental contexts, the term ‘mediation’ is often used synonymously with ‘negotiation’, but may be used to refer speciﬁcally to negotiations or other joint problem-solving forms which are facilitated by a third party whose main role is to help the participants to communicate and reach agreement (Bingham, 1986: 5). Negotiation is ‘a voluntary, collaborative process of problem-solving in which parties to a dispute try to reach a mutually acceptable, workable solution to their diﬀerences through direct, face-to-face dialogue’ (Sadler, 1987: 76). Some accept ‘shuttle diplomacy’, in which a mediator liaises between the parties before, or instead of, bringing them face to face, as a form of environmental mediation. ‘Environmental mediation’ generally refers to attempts to resolve speciﬁc disputes or episodes of conﬂict (Crowfoot and Wondolleck, 1990). However, a number of the published examples could also be described as joint decision making as understood in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) public participation literature. For instance, Bingham (1986) includes consensus building and policy dialogue among approaches to environmental dispute resolution. If one looks beyond speciﬁc disputes to the resolution of longerterm issues, collaborative planning (Gray, 1989; Healey, 1997; Ingram, 1998) and other cooperative stakeholder planning or decision-making processes can also be...
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