Going digital

Paul Eijssen talks to the environmentalist about digital environmental impact statements and how they could transform assessments

For many years, the environmental impact statement (EIS) has been widely regarded as an obligation rather than a useful tool for decision-making. New developments, including rapid advances in information communication technology (ICT), demand greater public participation and calls for community engagement offer big opportunities to develop the tool in a transparent, accessible and interactive digital form.

A pilot project at consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV has revealed the possibilities of, and enthusiasm for, using a digital EIS. Strategic consultant and associate director of smart urban environment Paul Eijssen says it marks the start of a journey to optimise the use of technology to empower stakeholders across the industry. Here, he explains how the digital EIS came about and where he foresees it will take the industry.

Why change EIA reporting?

Recently, EIA experts have started to discuss producing more user-friendly statements. However, as an industry, we tend to look inward into existing tools and landscape and have not made any significant inroads into improving this instrument for a long time. There were several reasons why we need to transform the way we approach the reporting of EIAs, but the main factor concerns the role of the project stakeholder and how they portray ...

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