Integrated Environmental Impact Assessment: A Canadian Example. (Policy and Practice)

Article excerpt

Abstract The Canadian federal process for environmental impact assessment (EIA) integrates health, social, and environmental aspects into either a screening, comprehensive study, or a review by a public panel, depending on the expected severity of potential adverse environmental effects. In this example, a Public Review Panel considered a proposed diamond mining project in Canada's northern territories, where 50% of the population are Aboriginals. The Panel specifically instructed the project proposer to determine how to incorporate traditional knowledge into the gathering of baseline information, preparing impact prediction, and planning mitigation and monitoring. Traditional knowledge is defined as the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and/or local communities developed from experience gained over the centuries and adapted to local culture and environment. The mining company was asked to consider in its EIA: health, demographics, social and cultural patterns; services and infrastructure; local, regional and territorial economy; land and resource use; employment, education and training; government; and other matters. Cooperative efforts between government, industry and the community led to a project that coordinated the concerns of all interested stakeholders and the needs of present and future generations, thereby meeting the goals of sustainable development. The mitigation measures that were implemented take into account: income and social status, social support networks, education, employment and working conditions, physical environments, personal health practices and coping skills, and health services.

Keywords Environmental health; Environmental monitoring/methods; Risk assessment; Health status indicators; Mining; Diamond; Socioeconomic factors; Culture; Aborigines; Knowledge, attitudes, practice; Intersectoral cooperation; Program evaluation; Canada (source: MeSH, NLM).

Mots cles Hygiene environnement; Surveillance environnement/methodes; Evaluation risque; Indicateur etat sanitaire; Industrie miniere; Diamant; Facteur socio-economique; Culture (Sociologie); Indigene; Connaissance, attitude, pratique; Cooperation intersectorielle; Evaluation programme; Canada (source: MeSH, INSERM).

Palabras clave Salud ambiental; Monitoreo del ambiente/metodos; Medicion de riesgo; Indicadores de salud; Mineria; Diamante; Factores socioeconomicos; Cultura; Aborigenes; Conocimientos, actitudes y practica; Cooperacion intersectorial; Evaluacion de programas; Canada (fuente: DeCS, BIREME).

Voir page 437 le resume en francais. En la pagina 438 figura un resumen en espanol.

Resume

Evaluation integree de l'impact sur l'environnement: un exemple canadien

Les methodes d'evaluation de l'impact sur l'environnement (EIE) utilisees par le Gouvernement federal canadien integrent des aspects sanitaires, sociaux et environnementaux et consistent en un examen prealable, une etude approfondie ou une <>, tenant compte de la gravite escomptee des effets susceptibles de nuire a l'environnement. L'enquete d'utilite publique a etudie un projet d'extraction de diamants qu'il est propose d'implanter dans les territoires du Nord du Canada, ou la moitie de la population est aborigene. Les experts ont enjoint l'initiateur du projet de voir comment les connaissances traditionnelles pourraient servir a rassembler les donnees de base, a etablir des previsions d'impact et a prevoir des mesures palliatives et de surveillance. On entend par connaissances traditionnelles les connaissances, methodes novatrices et pratiques des communautes indigenes et/ou locales accumulees pendant des siecles et adaptees a la culture et a l'environnement local. La societe d'exploitation miniere a ete priee d'etudier dans le cadre de l'EIE les elements suivants: schemas relatifs a la situation sanitaire, demographique et socioculturelle; services et infrastructure; economie locale, regionale et territoriale; utilisation des sols et des ressources; emploi, education et formation; gouvernement; et autres elements. …