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Decision factors and benchmarks of EIA report quality for Japan’s cooperation projects

Abstract

The quality of environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports is fundamental to making good decisions, but the low quality of EIA reports is a constraint in developing countries. Previous studies pointed out many factors influencing report quality based on professional perspectives. However, the decision factors of report quality are not well known. The purposes of this study are to identify the decision factors and benchmarks of the overall quality of EIA reports for Japan’s cooperation projects and to verify the effects of the decision factors on report quality. The study reviewed the quality of 160 reports from 2001 to 2016 and examined potential factors influencing the overall quality of reports using statistical tests, cluster analysis, decision tree analysis, and covariance structure analysis. The study identified the alternatives and public involvement as the decision factors among potential factors, and their linkage affected the quality of reports. The study concluded that the just satisfactory grade of alternatives and public involvement at scoping and draft reporting stages were the benchmarks for satisfactory EIA reports. Further verification through comparative studies and case studies is needed to confirm how two processes have an effect on the quality of reports.

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Acknowledgements

This study was conducted as a part of the “Improving the Planning Stage of JICA Environmental and Social Considerations” research Project of the JICA Research Institute.

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Correspondence to Tetsuya Kamijo.

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Kamijo, T., Huang, G. Decision factors and benchmarks of EIA report quality for Japan’s cooperation projects. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 2552–2569 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-00686-1

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Keywords

  • Environmental impact assessment reports
  • Cooperation projects
  • Alternatives
  • Public involvement
  • Statistical analysis