Tackling the EIA Impact Gap: Addressing Political Economy Realities to Bring Actual Practice Closer to Best Practice

Kazemi, Leila; Toledano, Perrine; Mebratu-Tsegaye, Tehtena

Oil, gas, and mining projects can be profoundly disruptive to lives and livelihoods and damaging to air, water, soil, and vegetation. Evidence of this abounds across the world, from the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Mexico to Brumadinho, Brazil, and Porgera, Papua New Guinea. Understanding and addressing the social and environmental repercussions of EI development projects is crucial for avoiding or effectively managing such negative outcomes and fostering sustainable development. To date, environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes have been the cornerstone of efforts to identify and address social and environmental impacts of proposed development projects, including extractive industry projects and associated infrastructure.

This brief is based on a longer chapter on the topic produced for a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) publication on development corridors.1 It aims to present the gaps between various aspects of the theory and practice of EIAs, explore some of the ways in which political factors may be contributing to these gaps, and suggest how future work on social and environmental protection and management.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Published Here
March 23, 2022