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Title: Why are projects rarely rejected in environmental impact assessments? : narratives of justifiability in Brazilian and Canadian review reports.
Authors: Fonseca, Alberto de Freitas Castro
Gibson, Robert B.
Keywords: Decision-making
Project approval
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: FONSECA, A. de F. C.; GIBSON, R. B. Why are projects rarely rejected in environmental impact assessments?: narratives of justifiability in Brazilian and Canadian review reports. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2021. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 29 abr. 2022.
Abstract: Projects that undergo environmental impact assessment (EIA) are rarely rejected. Online registries and anecdotal evidence suggest that authorities approve almost all proposed and assessed projects, though often with mitigation requirements. The objective of this study was: 1) to identify the rules or criteria that reviewers and authorities must observe when considering the acceptance or rejection of projects; and 2) to understand how rare cases of rejection decisions are justified by reviewers. Data were collected through literature and regulatory reviews, and content analysis of review reports related to five Canadian and seven Brazilian rejected projects. Reviewers from Canada and Brazil adopted similar approaches to decision-making based on qualitative reasoning. Rejection recommendations were based on reasons, such as significance of biophysical impacts, sensitivity of locations and community values. The influence of reviewers’ recommendations on final decisions remains unknown. The study highlights practical implications and calls for greater transparency and rigor in EIA decision-making.
ISSN: 1360-0559
Appears in Collections:DEAMB - Artigos publicados em periódicos

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