Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the role of environmental assessment (EA) in mediating between the scientific, political, and normative elements within environmental decision-making. It first provides an overview of the origins of EA and how it spread worldwide before considering the different theoretical models that have been developed to explain the structure and role of EA as an institutionalized approach to environmental decision-making. It then discusses the elements of environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a policy instrument, namely: application, screening, scoping, participation, decisions, and follow-up and monitoring. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the convergence and divergence in EA practice and how the diverging approaches to EA may affect the degree or type of influence that assessment processes have on environmental outcomes.
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