[study/eia.git] / assignment3 / intro.tex
1 \section{Introduction}
3 According to the International Association for Impact Assessment,
4 public participation and transparency are two of the basic principles
5 applying to all stages in the impact assessment
6 process \parencite{principles}. As the ultimate purpose of
7 environmental impact assessment (EIA) is to inform decision-making in
8 a way that promotes `sustainable development'\footnote{The actual
9 meaning of the fuzzy term \emph{sustainable development} is the
10 subject of continuing debate. In this essay it is used to describe
11 economic development that neither compromises ecosystem services nor
12 discounts shared community values. For a discussion of the term
13 \emph{sustainable development} see
14 \url{http://elephly.net/ecology/TODO}.}, it must ensure that the
15 public has access to all information relating to a proposal and ought
16 to allow the public to participate in the decision-making process.
18 In New Zealand, EIA is performed through the Resource Management Act
19 1991 (RMA), a comprehensive environmental management framework
20 governing the allocation and utilisation of natural resources and
21 controling adverse effects on the social, natural and constructed
22 environment. According to \textcite{sadler}, environmental assessment
23 under the RMA ``operates within the statutory planning and consent
24 system rather than as a separate procedure [and] applies explicitly to
25 projects'' \parencite[p 31]{sadler}. The consent system requires
26 project planners to submit an environmental impact statement (in New
27 Zealand this is called an Assessment of Environmental Effects or AEE)
28 in order to be able to obtain the resource consents needed for the
29 implementation of the project. As the AEE is prepared by the project
30 proponents (or assessors hired by them), the review of the scope,
31 accuracy and level of detail of a given AEE is of great importance to
32 ensure that decision-makers in the council have sufficient information
33 to make decisions that are sound from a socio-economic and
34 environmental point of view.
36 % TODO: introduce Grinlinton; where did he make this statement?
38 \begin{quote}
39 Councils often do not have the inclination to challenge an AEE,
40 particularly if the development may bring benefits to the region. It
41 therefore often falls to individuals or public interest groups to
42 grasp the thorn and challenge
43 them. \parencite[][pp. 110-111]{grinlinton}
44 \end{quote}
46 To discuss and evaluate this claim, we shall take a look at the
47 following subjects:
49 % TODO:
50 % - provide outline for the essay
52 \begin{inparaenum}[\itshape(a)\upshape]
53 \item %TODO
54 \item %TODO
55 \item %TODO
56 \item %TODO
57 \end{inparaenum}