No net loss: a cultural reading of environmental assessment
Keywords: 
Environmental impact assessment
Net environmental damage
Offsets
Externalization
Restoration
Culture of reparation
Environmental ethics
Issue Date: 
2022
ISSN: 
2071-1050
Note: 
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
Citation: 
Puig-Baguer, J. (Jordi); Villarroya-Ballarín, A. (Ana); Casas-Jericó, M. (María). "No net loss: a cultural reading of environmental assessment". Sustainability. 14 (1), 2022, 337
Abstract
Global environmental quality decline builds up through innumerable decisions at many scales that cause damage to ecological and social values. Environmental assessment (EA) is a relevant decision-making framework in this sense. Besides its technical role, EA has a cultural side we should consider in the pursuit of sustainable societies. Despite its limited reach, EA exemplifies and confronts some cultural implicit stances that may unwittingly favor the overall decline of environmental quality, and limit the advancement and efficiency of EA. Many of these cultural traits are well known and easier to point to than to reverse, namely: (1) too tolerant-to-damage standards of environmental protection and equality; (2) inadequate criteria to assess environmental performance; (3) tolerance of the net loss of environmental quality; (4) confrontation between ecological and social values in decision-making; and (5) neglect of full, in-kind compensation of environmental impacts. EA may have not only a technical or procedural, but also a cultural role to play in confronting these sources of unsustainability. A lack of attention to the cultural causes of environmental impacts neglects the deepest roots of environmental damage. This commentary addresses the topics above and brings attention to their disregard for environmental values, which should guide EA towards increased levels of sustainability.

Files in This Item:
Thumbnail
File
pdf.pdf
Description
Size
4.63 MB
Format
Adobe PDF


Statistics and impact

Items in Dadun are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.