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[SCI5250 hypothetical example model of Assignment 1]Best Practice Engagement of Stakeholders in Environmental Impact AssessmentAngus Morrison-Saunders1. IntroductionThe purpose of this paper is to identify two key aspects of best practice engagement of stakeholders in environmental impact assessment (EIA) based on a review of contemporary literature.2. Understanding stakeholder engagement in EIA applicationsEngaging stakeholders in EIA to the broad best practice principle of “participative” promoted by the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA & IEA 1999, p3). Being participative means that an EIA process provide opportunity for stakeholders to be informed and involved with their concerns being explicitly addressed indocumentation and (approval) decision- (e.g. Andre et al. 2006; Fundingsland Tetlow & Hanusch 2012; IAIA & IEA 1999). The broader principle of providing natural justice in decision-making; i.e. that affected by a decision have a legal right to have input to the making of that decision (e.g. Bates 1997; Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters 1998) is central to stakeholder engagement in EIA (Morrison-Saunders 2018). However, it translates into only “minimum levels of public participation” (Morrison-Saunders 2019, p9). Full environmental justice extends beyond input and inclusion to remedying the environmental and social impacts identified (Dilay et al 2019) and ensuring that projects overall are in the public interest (Joseph et al 2020). There is a further psychosocial effect on communities arising from their involvement in EIA processes (Baldwin and Rawstorn 2018).A distinction can be made between stakeholders affected by a proposal (IAIA and IEM, 1999; Morrison-Saunders, 2018) and those simply having an interest in it. The implication is that greater participation opportunity should be extended to directly affected parties, relative to others having only a broad interest. This this is consistent with the position of UNEP (2018, p63) and Morrison-Saunders (2019) who wrote that ‘in some jurisdictions face-to-face meetings are only available to those directly affected by a proposal undergoing EIA’ (p10).The extent to which the ‘participative’ principle outlined by IAIA & IEM (1999) is ‘best practice’ is debatable in light of the spectrum of public participation possibilities (e.g. Arnstein 1969; IAP2 2014; Sheedy 2008) which extends from informing to consulting, and involving through to empowering community participants. Hartz-Karp et al (2015, p398) argue that a transition to sustainability necessitates moving towards ‘deliberative collaborative governance’ in which assessment processes pursue a ‘coherent public voice’ implemented by means of ‘consensus-oriented decision-making’ (i.e. affected persons actually help make the decision). This means that best practice stakeholder engagement would extend beyond simple participation.Stakeholder engagement in EIA varies according to the local political and cultural values, traditions and institutions in place (Petts 1999; Noble 2015). Examples here include the tension between Western and non-Western views (Morgan 1998, p152 & 155), that increasing levels of maturity in democracy may lead to higher levels of public engagement (O’Riordan and Sewell 1981), and suggestions that public participation in EIA practice in China is limited because procedures are poorly defined, ignored or missing (Bina et al 2011). Thus, ‘local socio-political context must be taken into consideration when deciding on what might constitute best practice’ (Morrison-Saunders 2019, p11).3. ConclusionDrawing these points together, best practice engagement of stakeholders in EIA should:• inform and address the concerns of all interested parties during EIA; and• explicitly engage with affected parties and their values and viewpoints into EIA decision-making through consensus-based approaches where appropriate.[556 words]ReferencesAarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters 1998available: https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/documents/cep43e.pdf [accessed 15 July 2020].André, P., B. Enserink, D. Connor and P. Croal 2006 Public Participation International Best Practice Principles. Special Publication Series No. 4. Fargo, USA: International Association for Impact Assessment, available: http://www.iaia.org/uploads/pdf/SP4.pdf [accessed 15 July 2020].Arnstein, S.R. 1969 A ladder of citizen participation, Journal of the American Planning Association, 35 (4): 216–24.Baldwin, C. and P. Rawstorne 2019 Public understanding of risk in health impact assessment: a psychosocial approach, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 37(5): 382–396,Bates, G (ed) 1997 Butterworths Environmental Management and Law Dictionary, Butterworths Australia, Sydney, p137Bina O, W Jing, L Brown and M R Partidário 2011 An inquiry into the concept of SEA effectiveness:Towards criteria for Chinese practice, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31: 572–581.Dilay A., A. Diduck and K. Patel 2020 Environmental justice in India: a case study of environmental impact assessment, community engagement and public interest litigation, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 38(1): 16–27.Fundingsland Tetlow M, and M Hanusch 2012 Strategic environmental assessment: the state of the art. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 30:15–24.Hartz-Karp J, J Pope and S Petrova 2015. ‘A Deliberative Collaborative Governance Approach to Sustainability Assessment. in: Morrison-Saunders A, J Pope and A Bond (eds) Handbook of Sustainability Assessment, Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 375–402.IAIA and IEA – International Association for Impact Assessment and Institute for Environmental Assessment UK. 1999. Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment Best Practice, available: http://www.iaia.org/uploads/pdf/principlesEA_1.pdf. [accessed 15 July 2020]IAP2 – International Association for Public Participation 2014. IAP2’s Spectrum of Public Participation, available: https://iap2.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2018_IAP2_Spectrum.pdf [accessed 15 July 2020]Joseph C, T. Gunton and J. Hoffele 2020 Assessing the public interest in environmental assessment: lessons from cost-benefit analysis of an energy megaproject, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, [available online] DOI: 10.1080/14615517.2020.1780371 [accessed 15 July 2020].O’Riordan, T. and W.R.D. Sewell 1981 ‘From project appraisal to policy review’, in T. O’Riordan, T.and W.R.D. Sewell (eds), Project Appraisal and Policy Review, New York: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 1–28.Morgan, R.K. 1998. Environmental Impact Assessment: A Methodological Perspective, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.Morrison-Saunders, A 2018. Advanced Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Morrison-Saunders, A 2019. The action is where the social is! The ecosystem services concept and other ideas for enhancing stakeholder engagement in integrated mine closure planning, Keynote address in: AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds) Mine Closure 2019: Proceedings of the 13thInternational Conference on Mine Closure, pp5–18, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth,ISBN 978-0-9876389-3-9, Mine Closure 2019 conference: 3–5 September 2019, The Westin Perth, Australia, https://papers.acg.uwa.edu.au/p/1915_02_Morrison-Saunders/ [accessed 15 July 2020].Noble, B 2015. Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment: A to Principles and Practice, third edition, Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.Petts, J. 1999. ‘Public participation and environmental impact assessment’, in J. Petts (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Impact Assessment Volume 1: Environmental Impact Assessment: Process, Methods and Potential, Oxford: Blackwell Science, pp. 145–177.Sheedy A 2008. Handbook on Citizen Engagement: Beyond Consultation, Canadian Policy Research Networks, available: https://ccednet-rcdec.ca/sites/ccednetrcdec.ca/files/handbook_on_citizen_engagement.pdf [accessed 15 July 2020].United Nations Environment Program – UNEP 2018. Assessing Environmental Impacts- A Global Review of Legislation, Nairobi: UNEP, available:https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/22691/Environmental_Impacts_Legi slation.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [accessed 15 July 2020].

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