Social Impact Assessment for Wetlands
Social impact assessment (SIA) comprises the processes of analyzing, monitoring, and managing the social consequences of planned interventions, such as projects, plans, programs, or policies. SIA arose alongside environmental impact assessment (EIA) in the early 1970s to focus on the social (rather than biophysical environmental) impacts. Social impacts are changes that occur as a result of the planned intervention to how people live, work, play, and interact with one another, their culture, community and political systems, their environment, health and well-being, personal and property rights, and their fears and aspirations. SIA consists of an analysis of the communities likely to be affected by the planned intervention (stakeholder analysis), and collection of baseline data to enable measurement of change over time. Alternative options for the intervention and for mitigating potential impacts are identified. A monitoring plan to monitor change over time is developed and an adaptive management process to address unanticipated changes is implemented. An agreement making process between the communities and the developer should be facilitated, including an Impacts and Benefits Agreement (IBA) and a Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP). Finally, processes should be put in place to enable proponents, government authorities, and civil society stakeholders to implement arrangements implied in the SIMP and IBA and to incorporate management action plans into their own organizations. A grievance mechanism should be established to ensure that people with complaints against the proponent have a mechanism by which their concerns can be heard and resolved.
KeywordsSocial impact assessment Social licence to operate Social performance Free, prior and informed consent Human rights
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