Information for G02177
PART 2 DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY
Document begins: PART 2 DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY 47 48 Chapter 3 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR SUSTAINABILITY ASSURANCE Many reputable scientists consider that environmental deterioration may be reaching critical thresholds beyond which there could be serious and irreversible loss of functions performed by natural systems. Despite recent advances, EIA and SEA fall short of realising their full potential as a means of providing greater environmental sustainability assurance (ESA) to development decision-making. ESA means that the critical resource stocks and ecological functions must be safeguarded, depletion and deterioration of sources and sinks must be kept within acceptable levels or safe margins, and losses of natural capital must be made good (Sadler, 1996a). This definition also encapsulates the conditions necessary for environmentally sustainable development (ESD). It is also in keeping with the World Bank operational definition of environmental sustainability of projects and activities (Box 3.1), articulated in 1991 but no longer in force as formal guidance. Box 3.1: World Bank operational definition of environmental sustainability 1. Output Rule: Waste emissions from a project or action being considered should be kept within the assimilative capacity of the local environment without unacceptable degradation of its future waste absorption capacity or other important services. 2. Input Rules: ...