Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Centre for People, Place and Planet
The authors' experiences of collaboration between academic and non-academic actors in EIA in Western Australia are described. A distinction is drawn between collaborations that are natural science-focused or EIA process-focused, direct or indirect, and occurring in the context of a specific EIA process or at the system level over a longer time period. Anecdotal examples are provided of each. It is concluded that natural science-focused collaboration is relatively common and well established, while academic actors who research the EIA process itself are typically only invited to contribute to more unusual EIA case studies, such as strategic assessment or sustainability assessment. There is, however, opportunity for EIA researchers to play the role of ‘brokers’ of EIA knowledge and to influence EIA practice at the systems level over time through presentations, training courses, participation in system reviews, and working with community groups participating in EIA. There is potential to strengthen collaboration in Western Australia, for example through the increased use of co-design of EIA guidance and tools. Relationships between academic and nonacademic actors are essential to meaningful collaboration in most forms.
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