Font Size: a A A

A Study On The Environmental Impact Assessment System Under The Agrigue Rules

Posted on:2016-01-03Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:C WangFull Text:PDF
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Studies on ethnic minorities, traditional knowledge and impact assessment date back to thirty years ago. It is a newly developed study field. Due to historical reasons, there are certain particularities on minorities’cultural, social, economic and political structures as well as their ecological environments, which make them extremely vulnerable to constructions and developments. The most fundamental impact on ethnic minorities is about traditional knowledge.Akwe:Kon Voluntary Guidelines was approved at the seventh Conference of Parties on Convention on Biological Diversity in 2004 (hereinafter referred to as the Guidelines and the Convention). The Guidelines requires carrying out a comprehensive cultural, environmental and social impact assessment on proposed developments in the sacred areas as well as indigenous and local communities traditionally occupied or used lands and waters, or that may have an impact on those lands and waters. As a nation of biological and cultural diversity, it is necessary to examine the applicability of the Guidelines in China, draw international experience, and build an impact assessment system which is suitable to the environment where Chinese minorities respect traditional knowledge and this has to be carried out under the Guidelines framework.This dissertation adopted methods such as, literature collection, participant observation, questionnaire survey, statistical analysis and participatory rural appraisal from the perspective of ethnoecology. It studied the current environmental impact assessment system from the following aspects, including legal policies, technical specifications, as well as the compilation of the environmental impact report. Considering international experience and requirements of the Guidelines, based on literature and field study results, this dissertation brought up an environmental impact assessment framework integrating traditional knowledge elements, which embodied respect and thus would be suitable for China’s ethnic minority areas.This dissertation contained four research contents as below.Firstly, study on the international impact assessment research and practice associated with ethnic minority traditional knowledge. Here we took the typical developed countries, developing countries and international financial organizations as examples, analyzed their legal requirements and practice related to impact assessment, which served as a reference for developing China’s environmental impact assessment system embodying the respect for traditional knowledge.Secondly, gap analysis of China’s current environmental impact assessment system on construction projects. There was a lack of social and cultural considerations in the current system, especially when it came to the impact on ethnic traditional knowledge related to biodiversity. Via the analysis from public participation, assessment indicators and report content, comparing with the Guidelines, deficiencies of China’s current environmental impact assessment system on construction projects were found.Thirdly, typical case studies of environmental impact assessment on construction projects related with ethnic traditional knowledge. Via the on-spot investigation, we focused on the following three aspects:the impact on ethnic traditional knowledge caused by construction projects, the current status of public participation of ethnic minority communities in the assessment process, and the attitude of ethnic minority communities toward the improvement to the current environmental impact assessment system, so as to find out the realistic need for an environmental impact assessment system embodying respect for traditional knowledge in China’s ethnic minority areas.Fourthly, study on the construction of an environmental impact assessment system embodying respect for traditional knowledge in China’s ethnic minority areas. Based on gap analysis of the current environmental impact assessment system and typical on-spot case studies, lessons drawn from international experience, in combination with the realistic situation of ethnic minority areas, with the requirements of the Convention and the advices from the Guidelines, we put forward an index system for traditional knowledge impact assessment in China’s ethnic minority areas, explored feasible assessment method, and provided recommendations on the perfection of legal policy, technical guidelines and capacity building for perfection of the current environmental impact assessment system.The main conclusions of this dissertation are listed as follows. First, there are several problems with the current environmental impact assessment system regarding traditional knowledge of ethnic minority groups, such as deficiency in public participation, inadequacy of comprehensiveness on the assessment scope, lack of considerations on intangible culture elements and so on, which could not be reflected in the environmental impact report. Second, the impact of construction projects on traditional knowledge is mainly negative, as shown in the threatened traditional use of biological resources, reduced habitual use of biological resources, changing traditional production and lifestyle, weakening customary law system, shrinking natural sacred sites, as well as affected rituals and ceremonies. Third, ethnic minority communities have high expectations for assessing the impacts on traditional knowledge. Given the current environmental impact assessment system cannot reflect the impact on traditional knowledge of ethnic minorities, it is necessary to be further improved. Fourth, via constructing the indicator system for assessing the impact on traditional knowledge using appropriate methods, strengthening legal, technical, and capacity building, the environmental impact assessment system embodying respect for traditional knowledge should be established in ethnic minority areas in China.This dissertation proposed the incorporation of ethnic traditional cultural and social factors in the environmental impact assessment system, and thus represented an innovative frontier. It had two breakthroughs in theoretical research:first, based on the DPSIR model, an index system of the evaluation of the effects of traditional knowledge was established; Second, it broke the limitation of natural sciences in the field of environmental impact assessment, via the introduction of participatory approach, the diachronic comparison method as the basis of the methodology of traditional knowledge impact assessment. Future work will be focused on the determination of the weight of traditional knowledge impact assessment index systemThis dissertation studied and explored the theory and method for the incorporation of traditional knowledge into environmental impact assessment system. It aimed to attract more researchers’ attention to the interdisciplinary subject, so as to promote the further development of ethnoecology.
Keywords/Search Tags:Akwe, Kon Voluntary Guidelines, environmental impact assessment system, traditional knowledge, biodiversity, ethnic minority groups
PDF Full Text Request
Related items