Methodologies and Institutions in Zimbabwe's Evolving Environmental Assessment Framework
Adger, W. Niel
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Environmental assessment (EA) is "a procedure for assessing environmental implications of a decision to enact legislation, to implement policies or plans, or to initiate development projects ... and the conveying v of this information at a stage when it can materially affect their decision, to those responsible for sanctioning the proposal". (Wathern, 1988). As a regulation it has become integrated into land use planning to greater or lesser degrees in countries throughout the developed and developing world. As a technique for decision-making EA is often claimed to promote sustainable development if it is rigorously applied. Although this is a grandiose claim, the provision of timely information to decision-makers and the ex ante highlighting of possibly unforeseen impacts may be expected to enhance environmental management. Indeed, the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brunutland Report) (WCED, 1987) specifically advocated the use of this technique to promote the management of natural resources.