In recent years, China's government authorities have devoted increasing attention to the role of public participation processes in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The capacity of these processes to influence decision-making remains widely debated. This paper aims at appraising the institutional rationale informing the implementation of public participation in China's EIA, benchmarking it against three conceptualisations: (1) Normative, based on objectives of empowerment and democratisation; (2) Substantive, where participation is pursued mainly to improve quality of decisions; (3) Instrumental, seeking participation as an instrument to legitimise decision-making processes. The appraisal is carried out by means of a new integrated index (Public Participation Index, PPI), which is applied to a case study representative of latest advancements in EIA public participation practices in China, namely the “New Beijing Airport Project”. Located 46 km south of downtown Beijing, the project was approved in 2014 and it is currently under construction. Results of the PPI application to this case study indicate that, despite progress made in recent years, the implementation of public participation in Chinese EIA still largely responds to an instrumental rationale, with limited capacity for the public to affect decisions.

Evaluating public participation in Chinese EIA. An integrated Public Participation Index and its application to the case of the New Beijing Airport

BROMBAL, Daniele;Moriggi, Angela;MARCOMINI, Antonio
2017

Abstract

In recent years, China's government authorities have devoted increasing attention to the role of public participation processes in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The capacity of these processes to influence decision-making remains widely debated. This paper aims at appraising the institutional rationale informing the implementation of public participation in China's EIA, benchmarking it against three conceptualisations: (1) Normative, based on objectives of empowerment and democratisation; (2) Substantive, where participation is pursued mainly to improve quality of decisions; (3) Instrumental, seeking participation as an instrument to legitimise decision-making processes. The appraisal is carried out by means of a new integrated index (Public Participation Index, PPI), which is applied to a case study representative of latest advancements in EIA public participation practices in China, namely the “New Beijing Airport Project”. Located 46 km south of downtown Beijing, the project was approved in 2014 and it is currently under construction. Results of the PPI application to this case study indicate that, despite progress made in recent years, the implementation of public participation in Chinese EIA still largely responds to an instrumental rationale, with limited capacity for the public to affect decisions.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Brombal et al._2017_EIA in China.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: Accesso chiuso-personale
Dimensione 2.04 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.04 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3680328
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 40
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 37
social impact