Conceptual and Methodological Advances
Edited by Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves
Daniel M. Franks, David Brereton and Chris J. Moran Introduction This chapter provides guidance for practitioners on assessment and management strategies to enhance positive, and avoid and mitigate adverse, cumulative social impacts. We define cumulative impacts as the successive, incremental and combined impacts of one or more activities on society, the economy or the environment (Moran et al., 2007; Brereton et al., 2008). Cumulative impacts are also commonly referred to as cumulative effects. Cumulative impacts can be very important to communities, economies and environments because it is the accumulation of impacts that they actually experience (Kennett, 1999). While cumulative impacts can be generated from the aggregation and interactions of the impacts resulting from a single intervention, in general the term refers to the issues of assessment and management across multiple activities and actors in the one region. Sometimes called cumulative effects assessment (Damman et al., 1995; Hegmann et al., 1999), cumulative impact assessments are rarely done, and when they are done they tend to focus on biophysical impacts rather than social impacts. Social impact assessment (SIA) too has probably not given sufficient attention to cumulative impacts (Lockie et al., 2008; Canter and Ross, 2010). Cumulative impacts are significant for two main reasons. First, they cannot be properly understood or managed by focusing on the activities of an individual project or development. All the actions that are contributing to a priority impact must be understood in the context of the system, or receiving environment, in which they occur (e.g. a town,...
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