Evolution or revolution: where next for impact assessment?

Banhalmi-Zakar, Zsuzsa, Gronow, Claire, Wilkinson, Lachlan, Bryan, Jenkins, Pope, Jenny, Squires, Geraldine, Witt, Kathy, Williams, Galina, and Womersley, Jon (2018) Evolution or revolution: where next for impact assessment? Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 36 (6). pp. 506-515.

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Impact assessment (IA) has become one of the most prevalent environmental policy instruments today. Its introduction under the National Environmental Policy Act (US) in 1969 was revolutionary. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that such a widely used tool has received its share of criticism, including that it fails to meet some of its fundamental goals. Over the last fifty years, IA has broadened in scope and application and embraced new techniques. It has followed evolved, but has not changed fundamentally.

We believe that IA must continue to change to meet the societal and environmental challenges of the 21st century. But will it be enough for IA to progress through incremental change (evolution), or is a complete overhaul of impact assessment (revolution) needed? We provide some ideas as to what ‘evolution’ and ‘revolution’ may look like, but rather then offering a definitive way forward now, we invite stakeholders to present their thoughts and suggestions at the IAIA19 Annual Conference in Brisbane, which carries the same theme as the title of this article.

Item ID: 55280
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-5465
Keywords: environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, evolution, revolution
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 IAIA.
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 05:13
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 70%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440704 Environment policy @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960605 Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Protection @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960702 Consumption Patterns, Population Issues and the Environment @ 30%
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