Emerging developments in EIA
Traditionally, in the practice of EIA there has always been a bias towards project EIA. However, all development projects have far reaching impacts. As a result, there is a need for a more holistic approach. Regional and global implications of impacts due to projects therefore need to be examined. Apart from the projects per se, the policies of governments also need to be assessed since they will determine the trends of implementation of various types of projects. Emerging areas which may be used to assess such impacts include cumulative effects assessment (CEA) to assess regional impacts and strategic level EIA (SEA) to assess the impacts of policies. The other aspects of EIA which have been emerging as specific areas in their own right, which were earlier considered as a section of an EIA, are social impact assessment (SIA), environmental risk assessment (ERA), and environmental health impact assessment (EHIA).
Cumulative effects refer to the accumulation of changes in environmental systems over time and across space in an additive or interactive manner.