American Journal of Environmental Protection
Volume 4, Issue 3-1, May 2015, Pages: 1-7
Received: Mar. 10, 2015;
Accepted: Mar. 10, 2015;
Published: Jun. 25, 2015
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Nino Gokhelashvili, Department of Environmental Policy and International Relations, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, Tbilisi, Georgia
Many cases prove that involvement of the public in decision-making process on environmental issues has a real influence on proposed or planned activities and the final decisions are acceptable for all main stakeholders: government, the public, and developer of activity. Despite the facts demonstrating the role of the public in environmental decision-making, various experts approach to the public participation process with doubt and some criticism. From their point of view, many aspects of public participation are still questionable, such as who, why, how, at what stage should participate, etc. This article does not aim to answer each existing question. But along with the criticism of various experts, highlighting some important aspects of public participation, the article aims to: demonstrate a rationale of public participation in environmental decision-making; show the trend in this direction based on the analysis of violations of public participation procedures in some countries; demonstrate the real influence of the public on final decisions with regard to the environment, focused on the concrete examples. The arguments and conclusions made on this overview creates additional inspiration for further discussions and exploration of different aspects of public participation in environmental decision-making.
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