chapter  2
24 Pages

Assessment: Thirty-some Years of Environmental Assessment

The Voisey’s Bay assessment was atypical when it was initiated in 1997 and remains so today.1 As we will see in later chapters, there have been plenty of other efforts to define and use sustainability principles and criteria in practical decision making – in a host of applications from urban growth management to corporate responsibility reporting. There have also been many official statements of devotion to sustainability in environmental assessment work. Many recent assessment laws list contribution to sustainability among their statutory purposes. Nevertheless, serious efforts to use sustainability gains as a guiding objective and central criterion in actual assessments are still rare. Even for the most progressive jurisdictions, the idea remains in the experimental fringe of innovation in assessment law and practice.