Environmental assessments as community-based adaptive management tools
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This paper discusses the historic role of environmental assessments and impact statements in development and conservation projects and their limited current use. The Sustainable Uses for Biological Resources (SUBIR) project being implemented in northwestern Ecuador by a consortium of U.S. and Ecuadorian environmental organizations is applying an innovative approach to using the EA that attempts to incorporate the benefits of traditional EA procedures with greater participation by implementing agencies and affected peoples. The objective of this approach is to build a stronger investment in the EA process by those affected, and to encourage a long-term commitment to implementing the EA recommendations.