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Enhancing EIA systems in developing countries: A focus on capacity development in the case of Iran

Khosravi, Fatemeh, Jha-Thakur, Urmila, Fischer, Thomas B.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.670 pp. 425-432
developed countries, developing countries, environmental assessment, interviews, laws and regulations, Iran
Sensitivity to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system's context is a precondition for being able to suggest recommendation to improving that system. Most recommendations for developing countries take inspiration from developed countries and fall short in their efforts to adapt to the needs of a specific country. In this paper, the authors aim to assess the feasibility of implementing suggested recommendations to enhance Iran's EIA effectiveness. One of the main drawbacks of the Iranian EIA system is deficiency of EIA legislation. However, based on the findings of a review of the literature and semi-structured interviews, it is suggested that by considering contextual factors it is not feasible to overhaul Iran's EIA legislative framework in the short term. Instead, the focus must shift towards increasing environmental awareness and human-capacity development so as to improve the EIA system over time and strengthen EIA legislation.