Aligning public participation with local environmental knowledge in complex marine social-ecological systems

Benham, Claudia F. (2017) Aligning public participation with local environmental knowledge in complex marine social-ecological systems. Marine Policy, 82. pp. 16-24.

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Abstract

The incorporation of local and traditional knowledges into environmental governance regimes is increasingly recognised as a critical component of effective and equitable conservation efforts. However, there remain significant barriers to integration of community-based knowledge within mainstream environmental governance. This paper explores community-based knowledge in the context of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a widely-used governance tool designed to predict and manage the impacts of development. Drawing on a social survey and interviews, the paper documents local community knowledge of environmental changes associated with dredging and the construction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants in a large industrial harbour located in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and compares this knowledge with public consultation opportunities offered throughout the project lifecycle, including during assessment and after project approval. The findings highlight a misalignment between community knowledge of environmental change, which is acquired largely after impacts become apparent, and the public participation opportunities afforded through EIA, which generally occur before construction or dredging is undertaken.

Item ID: 50009
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Keywords: water quality, Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, port development, environmental impact assessment, marine ecology, participatory governance
Funders: CSIRO Energy, Australian National University (ANU), Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS)
Projects and Grants: RCS Phyllis Montgomerie Award
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2017 23:49
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 100%
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