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      Evaluating Environmental Impact Assessment report quality in South African national parks

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          Abstract

          This research evaluates Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report quality for a selected sample of development projects in South African national parks. It applies an adapted version of an international EIA report quality review package to 24 developments within 10 national parks, across three EIA regimes. The results suggest good EIA report quality across all four quality review areas, with improvement over time, but also highlight particular weaknesses in terms of dealing with waste and, to a lesser extent, with significance and mitigation. To build on this research, the development of a sector-specific EIA report quality review package is recommended, with more emphasis on the strategic context, waste and water-related aspects. The conclusion is that EIA is well positioned to remain an important decision support instrument for developments within national parks. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: The results show that EIA reports for developments in South African national parks are generally of sufficient quality for decision-making that benefits conservation. However, weaker performance regarding waste, significance determination, water-related impacts and a lack of consideration of strategic context requires a conservation-specific EIA report quality review package to improve report quality in the areas of weakness and thereby increase the value of EIA as an instrument for environmental governance and sustainable development in conservation areas.

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          Most cited references40

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          Evaluating effectiveness: a framework for assessing management effectiveness of protected areas

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            'Critical ecotourism factors applicable to national parks: A visitor perspective'

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              Reviewing the quality of environmental statements and environmental appraisals

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                koedoe
                Koedoe
                Koedoe
                South African National Parks (SANParks) (Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa )
                0075-6458
                2071-0771
                2020
                : 62
                : 1
                : 1-9
                Affiliations
                [02] Potchefstroom orgnameNorth-West University orgdiv1Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences orgdiv2Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management South Africa
                [06] Perth orgnameIntegral Sustainability Australia
                [01] Potchefstroom orgnameNorth-West University orgdiv1Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences orgdiv2School of Geo and Spatial Sciences South Africa
                [04] Norwich orgnameUniversity of East Anglia orgdiv1Faculty of Sciences orgdiv2School of Environmental Sciences United Kingdom
                [05] Potchefstroom orgnameNorth-West University orgdiv1Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences orgdiv2Unit for Environmental Science and Management South Africa
                [03] Perth orgnameEdith Cowan University orgdiv1School of Sciences orgdiv2Centre for Ecosystem Management Australia
                Article
                S0075-64582020000100016 S0075-6458(20)06200100016
                10.4102/koedoe.v62i1.1631
                d2c20299-7c48-45e8-b61c-36566d24732a

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                History
                : 26 March 2020
                : 14 July 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 41, Pages: 9
                Product

                SciELO South Africa

                Categories
                Original Research

                protected areas,report quality,South Africa,Environmental Impact Assessment,national parks

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