The Effective Use of Science in Environmental AssessmentSubmitted By: Justina Ray December 23, 2016
This submission focuses on the role of scientific information and expertise in environmental assessment (EA), in an effort to address the provision in the EA Expert Review Panel’s terms of reference that it “provide recommendations on how to ensure environmental decisions are based on science, fact and evidence”. This submission highlights five key aspects of EA where the science contribution requires strengthening: 1) Language in the legislation (CEAA 2012); 2) Scientific capacity throughout the EA process: “inside” and “outside” actors; 3) Development of EA products; 4) EA decisions; and 5) Monitoring and adaptive management. I offer 8 recommendations for change to legislation, associated policy guidance, and/or the practice and culture of EA to improve the production, synthesis, interpretation and use of science in decision making.
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