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This panel explores mechanisms designed to identify and assess environmental and social impacts of resource extraction projects. It considers the different ways in which those impacts are perceived, evidenced and articulated, and assemblages and alliances that form around the assessment process.
Resource extraction projects have extensive and complex social and environmental impacts. It is now a common practice in the extractives sector that a company wishing to develop a new resource project is required to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed venture, and submit it to the government regulator as part of a new project permitting process. The EIA documents are produced either directly by the company or, more commonly, by contracted consultants and seek to demonstrate to the government regulator that the developer has identified and sufficiently addressed impacts associated with project operations. They are then considered by the government as it decides whether to approve the project.
This panel explores the EIA and other mechanisms designed to identify and assess environmental and social impacts of resource extraction projects. It invites contributions that address the diverse ways in which those impacts can and indeed are being experienced, assessed, articulated and evidenced by different actors involved; the local and global assemblages that form around the EIA process; the factors facilitating access to the impact assessment and government decision making processes for different interest groups; and/or perceptions of effectiveness and the value of impact assessment mechanisms.
Whilst the EIA process is most commonly associated with a new project permitting process, contributions which consider these questions in contexts of already operating projects are also welcome.