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An ‘effective’ involvement of indigenous people in environmental impact assessment: the cultural impact assessment of the Saru river region, Japan

Nakamura, Naohiro (2008) An ‘effective’ involvement of indigenous people in environmental impact assessment: the cultural impact assessment of the Saru river region, Japan. Australian Geographer, 39 (4). pp. 427-444. ISSN 0004-9182

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    Abstract

    The Cultural Impact Assessment of the Saru River Region was the first time that a site investigation to preserve an ethnic culture regarding a dam construction was implemented in Japan. One of the project’s basic concepts was to get local residents, especially those of Ainu ethnicity, to participate in the investigation. Existing case studies of environmental impact assessment have argued that the assessment has failed to sufficiently involve Indigenous people in its process and has largely failed to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, cultural values, and voices into its processes and outcomes. Also, intangible aspects of Indigenous cultural heritage have not been protected. In the Cultural Impact Assessment of the Saru River Region, the Final Report was released in 2006 and significantly included the three-year investigation of input by local residents. In this sense, this assessment succeeded in effectively involving Indigenous people in its process and in reflecting their cultural values in its results. The more important issue is, however, how these results are included in the final outcomes. If Indigenous people have no power over final decision-making, their involvement is not effective. This paper analyses the significance and unresolved problems involved in this overall assessment process.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
    G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
    Depositing User: Naohiro Nakamura
    Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2014 11:09
    Last Modified: 13 Mar 2014 11:09
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/7233
    UNSPECIFIED

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