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close this bookConducting Environmental Impact Assessment in Developing Countries (United Nations University, 1999, 375 p.)
close this folder7. EIA communication
close this folder7.3 Communication to the public
View the document(introduction...)
Open this folder and view contents7.3.1 Factors that may result in effective public participation
View the document7.3.2 Overview of the roles of the public
Open this folder and view contents7.3.3 Public participation techniques
View the document7.3.4 Implementing public participation

7.3.2 Overview of the roles of the public

Within the broad scope of assessment goals and objectives, the public can constructively participate in each of the following tasks:

• provide data and information that is essential for the assessment of impacts on the physical and social environment;

• help identify local citizens and groups with special expertise who might be used by the assessment team for specific tasks;

• identify local and regional issues that should be addressed in the assessment process;

• provide a historical perspective to current environmental conditions and trends in the local and regional area of the proposed development project;

• help generate field data;

• provide criteria for evaluating the significance of identified impacts;

• identify project alternatives;

• suggest and help organize forums and mechanisms for public participation in the assessment process;

• monitor the relevance and adequacy of the on-going assessment efforts;

• review interim assessment reports and findings for public readability and relevance to local issues and concerns;

• help analyse and evaluate direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of project development;

• help define the scope of work and schedule for the overall assessment process;

• provide liaison between assessment team members and key organizations and other public groups and individuals;

• identify and evaluate potential mitigation measures that might be incorporated into project design and/or management.

Different groups and individuals in a local area may undertake one or several of these tasks, depending on individual interests, availability of time, knowledge, and experience. Therefore, the responsibility of the assessment team is to help diverse public groups and individuals to identify assessment functions that each may undertake successfully. This is possible only through effective communication, which should be one of the first tasks of the assessment teams.