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Getting closer to SDG12: incorporating industrial ecology principles into project EIA

Amani G. Rweyendela

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2022, vol. 65, issue 6, 953-974

Abstract: In gearing up environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a tool for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 – ensuring sustainable consumption and production – the concept of industrial ecology (IE) can offer valuable innovations. IE urges the derivation of sustainable and innovative designs from nature. This contribution sought to explore how to operationalize IE within EIA, and to anticipate some foreseeable challenges. A narrative literature review was employed to synthesize prior research. The study suggests that the proposed approach may improve EIA’ potential to steer decisions toward SDG12 by strengthening the process’s theoretical, analytical, and participatory components. IE’s implications for EIA practice are discussed against five key challenges; human resource deficits, informational gaps, institutional barriers, financial resources gaps, and EIA systems’ malfunctions. The paper is expected to raise awareness, urge governments to mobilize their EIA systems to meet SDG targets and stimulate further research on the subject.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2021.1974361

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