Importance of a New Environmental Assessment Regime
Nowadays, there are many problems and challenges people have to deal with in order to survive and provide their children and grandchildren with a safe future. People try to solve the existing political, economic, and cultural problems. Still, not many people pay enough attention to the environmental details and the general environmental situation in the world. The Canadians is the nation that has already begun focusing their actions towards the environmental changes and possible improvements.
In this project, the sustainability assessment framework will be developed in order to understand the nature of global environmental challenges, the needs that should be met, and the peculiarities of the current achievements in the environmental field and provide the Canadians, as well as other people interested in the environmental protection, with the ideas of how to use science, literature, and communication as the main source of information. The current approach is a chance to motivate people and provide them with the hope that economic growth, environmental protection, and climate changes cannot prevent society from the possibility to live a happy and safe life. This framework will help to get ready to act and respond to the changes that cannot be avoided.
The main goals outlined in the Liberal Party of Canada election platform are based on the necessity to restore the control over the areas that are found under federal jurisdiction, as well as some provinces, to use science and the facts in order to make the decisions, develop the public’s interest, and to provide the Canadians with the possibilities to share their views and opinions about the worth of the environment and the role of people in its protection (A new plan for a strong middle class, 2015).
Still, even if all goals are clearly identified and explained, there is a threat that people can make mistakes while choosing the methods and approaches for their activities. As a result, both, positive and negative, outcomes may be observed in terms of ecological, social, economic, and cultural aspects. Therefore, each goal mentioned in the platform has to be investigated and evaluated from different perspectives and explain why the environmental assessment regime is important. This process helps to facilitate the use of the knowledge and opportunities of the country and its citizens. The assessment is also important because it helps to promote training and guidance for ordinary people, support all stakeholders, and describe the conditions under which people may learn their environment and its protection better.
Therefore, the Canadian government is focused on the precise monitoring of the state of the environment and attempts to mitigate the negative aftermath of the functioning of various industries. For this reason, the adverse environmental effects are the main concerns of the governmental policy of the sector. For instance, the realization of the pernicious impact various industries have on the state of water results in the increase of the level of attention devoted to the monitoring of marine species.
At the moment, it generates the crucial information that is essential for the federal government. It uses the data to assess the current state of the environment and predict the further changes. This fact evidences that the success of the monitoring system is conditioned by the aligned coordination with the other systems providing the credible data. The process of monitoring of the state of marine species relies heavily on the expensive equipment and scientific vessels. The government also uses satellites to obtain the most credible data. The usage of the complicated tools results in the increase of the credibility and relevance of data.
The state of marine ecosystems could also be analyzed with the help of these systems. However, the given practices are expensive and trigger the growth of the dissatisfaction with the existing practices. For this reason, it is possible to suggest the reconsideration of the existing approach towards the monitoring and screening. The governmental policies related to the environmental sphere cost a lot and demands a significant part of the budget. The usage of the less expensive but efficient methods could have the positive impact on the question. That is why the environmental protection will become crucial for the further development of the state.
In fact, a new regime should demonstrate people the way of how they can use the already offered information and follow the methods offered, as well as develop their personal approaches in order to prove that they understand the environmental peculiarities and know the steps that can be taken to change the situation. The environmental protection is the public concern that should touch upon every person. People have to communicate and cooperate using their individual approaches on the basis of the public resources available.
Finally, a new regime should promote the development of the field education of the environmental issues and help people study why they need to focus on the environmental assessment and what benefits they can expect. Regarding the fact that the goals have been already identified, it is necessary to analyze the factors of the EIA, the possible changes, and measurements that can reduce the impact of the adjustments, and make the decisions that help people to improve their environmental well-being.
Sustainability Assessment, Its Purposes, and Application
During the last several years, sustainability assessment has gained a number of forms and spread around the whole world (Gibson, 2006). Many corporate, governmental, academic, and civil organizations develop their assessment to understand the combination of different factors and evaluate their impacts on a human life. The more people are involved in assessment initiatives, the safer their future can be.
In this project, the sustainability assessment is used to consider climate change as one of the immediate threats to communities and economy. It is not enough to involve cities in the solution of problems but focus on the provinces and territories that have already recognized the need to act. The development of climate change solutions and the improvements of international obligations are the crucial aspects of the work that has to be done. Sustainability assessment can help to make a plan and follow it using the facts and evidence as the main grounds for activities. The key details of environmental assessments remain to be the purpose, application, scope, participation, authority, and the possibility to follow it with time (Gibson, Hassan, & Tansey, 2013).
There are several purposes that have to be met in the current sustainability assessment:
- To improve public confidence in the processes that should help to protect the environment;
- To use the experience of other countries that is characterized by positive outcomes in terms of protecting the environment;
- To understand if the control of different territories is possible to organize by one organization (or if it is necessary to involve several organizations that can achieve the same goal);
- To adjust the sphere of education so that young people can learn more about the existing environmental threats and their possible participation in the protective initiatives;
- To predict the changes that can be observed in the nearest future and introduce them in the most appropriate form to the citizens;
- To develop the methods that can help to evaluate the current environmental situation;
- To evaluate the effectiveness of the activities and initiatives offered;
- To introduce further activities and explain their reasons.
There are several methods that can be offered to apply the assessment. It is expected to involve several groups of people into the initiative in order cover several aspects of the work. On the one hand, it is necessary to provide people with the required portion of knowledge so that they can understand why they are doing something and what is expected from their activities. Some people may think that the developers of such assessment should have enough ideas and experience to promote it.
Still, the experience shows that many people without an appropriate level of education want to be involved in such types of activities to help society to be improved. On the other hand, the methods of sustainability assessment should be based on the fact that this framework specifies the conditions under which the integration of society, politics, and economics is possible (Ali, 2012). It is necessary to not only educate and explain but also prove the positions and activities chosen. The following application methods are acceptable:
- Online questionnaires that help to gather the opinions of different people from different regions of the country;
- The organization of specialized meetings in terms of which people can learn the current environmental situation;
- The creation of special video translations with the help of which people can study the current achievements and understand their possible impact on the situation;
- The publication of special flyers and brochures that can be available to people for free.
It follows from these cogitations that the importance of the environment assessment becomes one of the major concerns of the Canadian government. Trying to monitor and improve the existing state of the environment it introduces several practices to guarantee the mitigation of the negative effects and preservation of the positive tendencies (Bond, Morrison-Saunders, & Howitt, 2012). In these regards, the significance of the sustainability assessment becomes obvious.
It helps to determine the efficiency of the current practices and highlight the most nagging problems. Additionally, the reconsideration of the inefficient approaches might contribute to the significant improvement of the final results. That is why the creation of the new proposal might trigger the initiation of the significant changes.
First, it is vital to improve the screening process as it impacts the state of the sphere and promotes its further evolution. The screening process implies the detailed and precise investigation of a project or approach to determine the perspectives and the possible impact.
Analyzing the screening process in terms of the sustainability assessment, one could suggest the detailed approach. It could be used to guarantee whether a certain project or plan could be chosen to monitor the state of the environment or solve the existing problem. To designate the scope of the project and determine its character the screening should be performed at multiple levels such as economic, scientific, practical, etc.
Secondly, to determine the purpose, need and identify the range of possible alternatives the government could conduct a scoping process which includes a number of several key points. Recognizing the importance of the environmental assessment, one could also accept the idea that the scoping process should be used to evaluate the possible perspectives of a project and determine its possible perspectives. The assessment of the scoping process should be performed together with the evaluation of the main points of the related project. The complex investigation might promote the significant increase of the efficiency of the ecology analysis and contribute to the creation of the beneficial conditions for the development of the project.
However, the introduction of the above-mentioned practices should be supported by the significant reconfiguration of the power of the Ministry responsible for the environmental concerns. The scope of the problem lies in the fact that the power and authorities of the Minister are limited by the existing Canadian laws which regulate the functioning of the government and delegate authorities. Therefore, the increase of the power of the Ministry will promote the significant improvement of the state of various environmental projects. For instance, if the environment minister is able to devote additional funds to the most crucial projects, it will result in the increase of the efficiency of the whole Ministry.
Finally, it is possible to suggest the introduction of the additional stages to monitor the state of various process related to the environmental concerns. In general, the reconsideration of the main points will obviously have the positive impact on the general state of the sector. The suggested stages condition the alteration of the approaches towards the evaluation of the projects and implementation of the more detailed and efficient ecology analysis. Thy also might contribute to the exclusion of the post assess procedures from the main practices and increase the general performance of the whole sector.
Comparison of the Current Proposal with the Current Federal Environmental Assessment System
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) 2012 is the combination of regulations and the legislative basis that is used on the federal practices of environmental assessment in Canada (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, 2012). The main purposes of CEAA 2012 are the protection of the environmental components, the promotion of the coordination between some federal and several provincial governments, the support of communication with Aboriginal people, and the encouragement of the studies about the possible effects of physical activities on the environment in the chosen regions.
Regarding the details mentioned in the Regulations Designating Physical Activities (the main document where CEAA 2010 applies to) and the details developed in this proposal, several similarities and differences can be identified. On the one hand, both projects aim at educating people about the clean environment. However, the current proposal offers the idea to involve more ordinary citizens in the protection of the environment in comparison to the already applied federal environmental assessment system. People should understand that the government is not the only body that has to take care of nature and people well-being.
People have to take responsibility for the activities they take and the decisions they made. As soon as citizens start paying more attention to their own activities, they can realize that the safe environment is their main priority that cannot be neglected. At the same time, the governmental support and interactions should help to achieve positive results and reduce the negative effect on the environment. Another important aspect is the communication with the Aboriginal people and the possible contamination of their land. Both projects underline the importance to protect their land and improvement of the conditions under which people have to live.
On the other hand, there is a significant difference between these two projects. The federal program focuses on the environmental effects and their significance. The current project’s aim is to provide people with a solid knowledge background so that people can understand their roles in the protection of the environment and the possible outcomes of their activities. It is not enough to make people follow the regulations prescribed by the government. It is more important to explain why they have to be environmentally friendly. Public comments and opinions are crucial for the environmental assessment. Therefore, the main challenge of the current project is to decide what kind of work can be done to involve ordinary citizens in the discussions of the environmental problems.
In general, the current sustainability assessment framework helps to realize that the environment has to be protected against human activities by means of people’s interactions. The evaluation of the current ecological and economic situation of the country is a crucial step. People should know that the assessment should be conducted in the earliest period to clarify what can be done and what can be improved. In fact, any assessment is the combination of numerous steps, and in order to succeed in such activities, people have to understand their worth at first and clarify their roles in the environmental protection.
As soon as the required portion of understanding is gained, people can enjoy such benefits as the increased protection of their health, the minimization of negative environmental effects, the reduced risks of environmental disasters, and the considerable contribution to the development of natural resources that can be used by people in their everyday life. Nature provides people with a number of opportunities, and the main human task is not to waste these opportunities as well as not to overuse the resources offered by nature for free.
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Ali, M. (2012). Sustainability assessment: Context of resource and environmental policy. Waltham, MA: Academic Press.
Bond, A.J., Morrison-Saunders, A., & Howitt, R. (2012). Sustainability assessment: Pluralism, practice and progress. New York, NY: Routledge.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. (2012). Basics of environmental assessment. Web.
Gibson, B., Hassan, S., & Tansey, J. (2013). Sustainability assessment: Criteria and processes. New York, NY: Routledge.
Gibson, R.B. (2006). Sustainability assessment: Basic components of a practical approach. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 24(3): 170-182.