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Open AccessArticle

Participatory Rural Appraisal Approaches for Public Participation in EIA: Lessons from South Africa

1
School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2521, South Africa
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Geography and Environmental Studies, The King’s University, Edmonton, AB T6B 2H3, Canada
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Land 2019, 8(10), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8100150
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 7 October 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Land Use and Social Issues)
Public participation in environmental impact assessment (EIA) often falls short of the requirements of best practice in the move towards sustainable development, particularly for disadvantaged and marginalized communities. This paper explores the value of a participatory rural appraisal (PRA) approach for improved public participation in a sample of EIA’s for photovoltaic projects in South Africa. PRA was conducted post facto making use of selected PRA tools. Findings show that a great deal more information was obtained by the PRA approach, confirming the perceived weakness of traditional PP for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. It is concluded that a PRA approach has considerable potential for improving meaningful public participation, which should improve EIA, build capacity in those communities, and enhance livelihoods and sustainable resource use. View Full-Text
Keywords: participatory rural appraisal (PRA); public participation; EIA participatory rural appraisal (PRA); public participation; EIA
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Sandham, L.A.; Chabalala, J.J.; Spaling, H.H. Participatory Rural Appraisal Approaches for Public Participation in EIA: Lessons from South Africa. Land 2019, 8, 150.

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