Community Consultation in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in Bangladesh: An Application of the Vroom-Yetton Model

By:
Dr. Salim Momtaz
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Involving community in decision making process is an integral part of environmental and social impact assessment (EIA and SIA) in developed countries. While EIA and SIA have now been firmly established in planning process in developing countries, community participation in project inception, implementation and monitoring remains a contentious issue. Recently, we have seen the adoption of Vroom-Yetton normative decision model in developing guidelines for managers that allow them to determine the level of public involvement in natural resource decision making. This paper examines the adaptability of Vroom-Yetton model in EIA and SIA processes in Bangladesh.

Based on thorough examinations of major EIA guidelines and a number of recent EIAs and SIAs, and discussions with EIA practitioners in Bangladesh, this paper, firstly, explores the status of community participation in EIA and SIA in Bangladesh, and, secondly, it examines if Vroom-Yetton model can make any meaningful contribution to deciding the extent to which local communities may be incorporated in environmental assessment process. This article argues that there is no substitute for wide community consultation and participation in a densely populated country like Bangladesh where any development interventions are likely to have significant impacts on people and the natural environment.


Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment, Social Impact Assessment, Community Participation, Vroom-Yetton Model
Stream: Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Public Participation and Community Involvement in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in Developing Countries


Dr. Salim Momtaz

Lecturer in Sustainable Resource Management, Centre for Sustainable Use of Coasts and Catchments 
School of Applied Sciences, University of Newcastle

Australia

Dr Momtaz teaches at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His research interests include ‘development and environment in developing countries’, ‘environmental and social impact assessment’, ‘community participation in environmental decision-making’ and ‘applications of Geographic Information Systems’. He taught ‘EIA and SIA’ at the School of Foreign Services, Georgetown University, Washington DC, as an Adjunct Associate Professor and conducted research on 'comperative EIA and SIA in Australia, Bangladesh and USA' as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Australian and New Zealand Studies, Washington DC. Dr Momtaz also visited Bangladesh as a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow in 2000-2001 when he taught 'EIA' at the Department of Geography and Environment, University of Dhaka, and conducted research on impact of development. He has worked on various research projects in Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Viet Nam. He has published many articles in international journals including ‘Environmental Impact Assessment Review’ and ‘Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal', and is the author of three books. His latest book titled ‘Environmental and Social Impact Assessment: the Case of Bangladesh is being published by Elsevier.

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