ConsuItation and participation
As stated in Chapter 1, consultation and participation are integral to environmental impact assessment: EIA is not EIA without consultation and public participation. Almost all EIA systems provide for consultation and participation after publication of the EIA report, prior to the decision on the action, though a few (particularly in developing countries) do not (see Chapter 12). However, many jurisdictions either require or encourage consultation and participation at earlier stages of the EIA process, for example during scoping. Indeed, there appears to be a growing consensus that increased consultation and participation, using one or more of the large number of means of participation which exist, can produce significant benefits for the proponents of actions and for those affected.