Environmental Assessment; Cumulative Effects; Public Participation; Sustainability
As part of a broader review of the process of environmental assessment (EA) in British Columbia, the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) sought stakeholder advice on public participation in EA in BC.
Environmental assessments should have early and ongoing processes, as well as adequate time and resources, to meaningfully engage the public. Limited participant funding, restricted opportunities, short timelines, poorly developed processes and narrow project scope impede public participation.
In our submissions, we recommend resources regarding the spectrum of public participation opportunities, as well as identify models of participatory approaches to public involvement in environmental assessment.
While not intended to be comprehensive or address all areas of change we believe are needed to achieve a meaningful public participation in the BC EA process, the brief suggests some key approaches that would help the EAO better achieve its goals, consult meaningfully and ensure public ‘buy in’ that fall within the limited scope of its review.
West Coast Environmental Law Association