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Reflecting on mainstreaming through environmental appraisal in times of financial crisis - From 'greening' to 'pricing'?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paola Gazzola


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The issue of mainstreaming has witnessed a revival over the last few years, not least because the latest financial crisis has triggered a renewed enthusiasm and a remarkable comeback amongst policy-making and environmental appraisal (EA) communities. Traditionally, environmental mainstreaming is linked to ideas of (environmental) integration and to the 'greening' of public policies. Yet, more recent mainstreaming efforts are building on the idea that the achievement of economic growth and of social well-being is not only dependent upon the protection of the environment, but on the fact that the environment should be valued as a source of goods and a provider of services, as well. In this context and despite the many shortcomings that EA has experienced as a mainstreaming tool over the last two decades, calls for EA to engage with ecosystem services and incorporate pricing valuations in its approach to mainstreaming are emerging, raising questions about the role and purpose of EA as an environmental mainstreaming tool.This paper aims to reflect on the role of EA as a mainstreaming tool, in terms of the extent to which it is mainstreaming the environment into policies for sustainable development and changing 'the mainstream' by breaking down the false dichotomy of environment and (economic) development. If mainstreaming through EA was to incorporate both greening and pricing logics, could EA be more effective in reframing the environment and development as correlated variables rather than competing variables? (c) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gazzola P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Impact Assessment Review

Year: 2013

Volume: 41

Pages: 21-28

Print publication date: 01/07/2013

Online publication date: 07/03/2013

Acceptance date: 22/01/2013

ISSN (print): 0195-9255

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6432

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2013.01.005


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