Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Methodological pluralism in environmental impact prediction and significance evaluation : a case for standardization?
Authors: Fonseca, Alberto de Freitas Castro
Brito, Ludmila Ladeira Alves de
Gibson, Robert B.
Keywords: Environmental impact assessment
Environmental impact assessment methods
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: FONSECA, A. de F. C.; BRITO, L. L. A. de; GIBSON, R. B. Methodological pluralism in environmental impact prediction and significance evaluation: a case for standardization? Environmental Impact Assessment Review, v. 80, p. 106320, jan. 2020. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 10 mar. 2020.
Abstract: At the core of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process is the identification, prediction and evaluation of impacts, activities that are profoundly marked by case-specific differences and methodological pluralism. Despite difficulties, policy-makers are occasionally attracted to the idea of standardizing EIA methods. The objective of this study was to understand the merits of standardizing methods for impact prediction and significance evaluations, using Brazil as the empirical context. Based on a content analysis of 49 EIA reports, a survey with 126 practitioners, and a critical evaluation of two standardization initiatives, the study shows that, while generally perceived as beneficial, the standardization of EIA methods is likely to remain a rather challenging task in the foreseeable future. The high degrees of discretion taking place in the selection and implementation of impact prediction and significance evaluations are to a large extent a consequence of the difficulty of finding terminology, metrics, criteria, thresholds, boundaries, and values across different settings. Current standardization initiatives in Brazil are targeting some of the easiest methodological issues related to terminology and process. While relevant to administrative efficiency and process predictability, such issues represent a small piece of the complex puzzle of EIA effectiveness. Findings signal the need for clearer policy priorities, capacity building, and more applied research about the actual, long-term effects of standardization initiatives.
ISSN: 0195-9255
Appears in Collections:DEAMB - Artigos publicados em periódicos

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
1,06 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.