Title: Environmental and sustainability impact assessment in small islands: the case of Azores and Madeira

Authors: Tomas B. Ramos, Sandra Caeiro, Calbert H. Douglas, Cocker Ochieng

Addresses: Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, New University of Lisbon, Campus da Caparica, 2829–516 Caparica, Portugal. ' Department of Exact and Technological Sciences, Portuguese Distance Learning University, R. Escola Politecnica, No. 141, 1269–001 Lisboa, Portugal. ' The Research Institute for the Built & Human Environment, School of Environment & Life Sciences, University of Salford, Gtr. Manchester M5 4WT, UK. ' The Research Institute for the Built & Human Environment, School of Environment & Life Sciences, University of Salford, Gtr. Manchester M5 4WT, UK

Abstract: This paper compares Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) practices and effectiveness in the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira. This was accomplished by qualitative appraisal and evaluation of the contents of EIA statements and the characterisation of the EIA practices. Data was collected from the islands| regional environmental agencies and from the Environmental Portuguese Agency internet database. The findings reveal that most EIA project practitioners and consultants in the islands are associated with the regional government agencies. Proposals were generally approved with |conditions| and the diversity of project types were lower in the islands than in the mainland. There was limited follow-up on the EIA process so that evaluation of conditions compliance was scanty. Key areas identified for consideration in the development of good impact assessment practice in the islands included, the Islands| unique geographical and ecological characteristics, scale effects, intra-insular regional dimension, impact significance evaluation approaches, and training, education and development skills in EIA processes.

Keywords: environmental impact; sustainability impact; impact assessment; small islands; Azores; Madeira; sustainable development; regional government.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETM.2009.023523

International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, 2009 Vol.10 No.2, pp.223 - 240

Published online: 26 Feb 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article