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A REVIEW ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN MALAYSIA

Keywords: EIA , community involvement , public participation process

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Abstract:

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was introduced to measure the benefit or cost from physical development to the public and community. In Malaysia, EIA was initiated in 1988 as a mandatory legislative requirement to protect and enhance the quality of the environment through licensing, setting of standards, coordination of research and dissemination of information to the public. Public involvement in assessment period is vital, and this conceptual paper identifies that there are three levels of participation in EIA. However, public participation in EIA in Malaysia, in general, is only instrumental due to weaknesses in regulation, lack of awareness and expertise among the public. This further raises the question of effective EIA implementation when public representation is characterized by pseudo participation and select involvement rather than broad participation of all community members, which is an important prerequisite for effective public participation.

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