International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Transforming Impact Assessment for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Sustainable development and poverty eradication are global challenges that require a systematic, transformative approach for action on the ground, with enhanced environmental impact assessment (EIA) at its core. Traditional EIA has been criticised for being a top-down regulatory method biased in favour of the sponsor of a development action. The purposes of this paper are to describe how to transform EIA into a process that enables sustainable development and poverty eradication, and to stimulate much-needed dialogue among engineers, scientists and policy makers. The paper argues for the synthesis of four components to create a new approach: (a) an adaptive social learning process at the core for multi-stakeholder assessment, planning, Implementation and monitoring; (b) a trans-disciplinary, knowledge-partnership, systems-based approach to assessment that identifies priority problems and drivers using risk and vulnerability theory; (c) multi-criteria sustainability assessment of alternative solutions that makes socio-political, cultural, economic and ecological trade-offs transparent; and (d) integrated capacity building to sustain the target solution. Deductive reasoning based on empirical evidence from case studies and a literature review supports the argument.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability

Publication Date

1-1-2008

Volume

161

Issue

1

First Page

39

Last Page

53

ISSN

1478-4629

DOI

10.1680/ensu.2008.161.1.39

Keywords

United Kingdom, environmental impact analysis, sustainable development, economic development, sustainable engineering

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