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Environmental Assessment Tools as a Framework for Decision-making: A Comparative Study between EIA Theory and Practice in Cameroon and Sweden
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There is now a global interest in the use of environmental assessment tools such as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), for which a considerable amount of research has been undertaken into their theoretical development. In addition, there is a growing need to adopt the Life Cycle perspective in order to get a broader understanding of the upstream and downstream consequences of decision-making. Unfortunately, however, implementation aspects of these tools have not sufficiently matched with issues that have been developed in the theory. This thesis attempts to highlight this issue by comparing practices in Cameroon with Sweden in order to pinpoint main constraints in Environmental Assessment Practices (EA). EIA constitutes special focus, with SEA and the concept of LC thinking being included as necessary complement. The method employed is essentially document-based, involving the collection of theoretical information and evidence from three areas of institutional framework for supporting the practice of EIA in both countries, notably, the existing regulatory and administrative setting; process and procedural aspects of the tool; and approach to decision-making including public perception and participation in environmental issues. The results show that although the Swedish system is not completely in line with the theoretical demands, it serves important lesson for its Cameroonian counterpart. Essentially, progress in Cameroon is still hampered by ineffective institutional capacity for good governance and lack of genuine political will brought about by misperception surrounding the link between environmental protection and economic growth in private sector investment toward poverty alleviation. Also undermining the process is inadequate public engagement in a highly centralized decision-making approach. Lack of trust in public institutions in Cameroon is also the main reason why people don’t get involved. As a suggestion to bridging the dichotomy between theory and practice in Cameroon based on lessons from Sweden, this thesis concludes with a few recommendations for improvement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, Degree Project SoM EX, 2010-41
Keyword [en]
Environmental Impact Assessment; Decision-Making; Comparative Assessment; Theory; Practice; Political will, Improvement.
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-28001OAI: diva2:383286
Available from: 2011-04-08 Created: 2011-01-04 Last updated: 2011-04-08Bibliographically approved

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