Challenging Convention: Reviewing Decades of Socio-Economic Impact Assessment in Resource-Dependent British Columbia

Socio-economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) is one of the tools most widely-employed in our global pursuit for sustainable development. Despite the proliferation of past SEIAs, there is considerable doubt that SEIA is meeting its full potential. Recognized shortcomings of the practice are numerous and include such issues as under-qualified practitioners, a lack of adequate and accessible follow-up, a lack of understanding of indicators, a lack of conceptual frameworks, and a failure to adequately incorporate local knowledge and cultural impacts. Our objectives for this project are: (1) to work with SEIA practitioners and stakeholders to identify the major pitfalls and challenges associated with SEIA in British Columbia; (2) to document the evolution of SEIA methodology employed in rural British Columbia, and to assess this practice relative to the state-of-the-art literature; and (3) to explore systemic or institutional hurdles impeding the improvement of government-regulated SEIA in British Columbia. The ultimate aim of this research development project is to create an improved framework for designing and implementing SEIA in rural BC communities.

Erin McGuigan  →

Funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Research Development Initiatives (Canadian Environmental Issues), University of British Columbia University Graduate Fellowship and University of British Columbia Pacific Graduate Scholarship.