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The Development of the Environmental Impact Assessment Process in Botswana

The Development of the Environmental Impact Assessment Process in Botswana
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Author(s): Eagilwe M. Segosebe (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 14
Source title: Developing Eco-Cities Through Policy, Planning, and Innovation: Can It Really Work?
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0441-3.ch002

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Abstract

The desire to protect the natural environment and the resources it hosts is at the core of every country's ambition to achieve long-term sustainable development. Yet, the history of development shows that environmental protection always came about as an after the fact activity. Nations around the world, including the industrial countries, most of the time reacted to adverse impacts of the environment rather than acting proactively to prevent undesirable outcomes of development. The 1970s decade is seen as a watermark in the development of legislation aimed at protecting the environment particularly in the developed world. This development and requirement to have projects subjected to environmental impact assessments spread to developing countries like Botswana in the 1980s. Botswana embraced the ideal to protect the environment to achieve sustainable development. Toward this end, the government of Botswana carried out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on major projects voluntarily, even before the passing of the maiden EIA Act of 2005 and its supplement of 2011 and accompanying guidelines in 2012. After this and particularly in the 1990s, Botswana rigorously pursued its position on the international terrain where the country signed and ratified some international conventions and protocols. This chapter concludes by suggesting that the next area of focus for Botswana is on monitoring the outcomes of projects for which EIAs have been conducted.

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