|کد مقاله||کد نشریه||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||نسخه تمام متن|
|1052853||1485006||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||دانلود رایگان|
Environmental assessment (EA) aims to enhance environmental awareness and to ensure that environmental values are fully considered in decision-making. In the EA arena, different discourses exist on what EA should aim for and how it functions. We hypothesise that these discourses influence its application in practice as well as its effectiveness in terms of achieving the above goals. For instance, actors who consider EA as a hindrance to fast implementation of their projects will probably apply it as a mandatory checklist, whereas actors who believe that EA can help to develop more environmentally sound decisions will use EIA as a tool to design their initiatives. In this paper we explore discourses on EA in The Netherlands and elaborate on their implications for EA effectiveness. Based on an innovative research design comprising an online survey with 443 respondents and 20 supplementary semi-structured interviews we conclude that the dominant discourse is that EA is mainly a legal requirement; EAs are conducted because they have to be conducted, not because actors choose to do so. EA effectiveness however seems reasonably high, as a majority of respondents perceive that it enhances environmental awareness and contributes to environmental protection. However, the ‘legal requirement’ discourse also results in decision-makers seldom going beyond what is prescribed by EA and environmental law. Despite its mandatory character, the predominant attitude towards EA is quite positive. For most respondents, EA is instrumental in providing transparency of decision-making and in minimising the legal risks of not complying with environmental laws. Differences in discourses seldom reflect extreme opposites. The ‘common ground’ regarding EA provides a good basis for working with EA in terms of meeting legal requirements but at the same time does not stimulate creativity in decision-making or optimisation of environmental values. In countries characterised by less consensual political cultures we may expect more extreme discourses on EA, the consequences of which are reflected upon in this paper.
► The effectiveness of environmental assessment (EA) depends in part on meanings associated with EA (i.e., discourse).
► Our results suggest that the general discourse in The Netherlands is that EA is a legal requirement, nothing more.
► This discourse makes EA effective in protecting the environment, but not in the optimisation of environmental values.
► EA has a limited contribution to the development of policy alternatives or innovative solutions to environmental problems.
► There is a high consensus among EA professionals, providing a common ground for working with EA.
Journal: Environmental Impact Assessment Review - Volume 39, February 2013, Pages 13–25