Participation in Southeast Asian pollution control policies


Hofman, Peter S. (1998) Participation in Southeast Asian pollution control policies. In: Frans H.J.M. Coenen & Dave Huitema & Laurence J. O'Toole Jr (Eds.), Participation and the quality of environmental decision making. Environment & policy, 14 . Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London, pp. 287-305. ISBN 9780792352648

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Abstract:Although public awareness of environmental issues in Southeast Asian countries has increased dramatically during the nineties, there has not been a corresponding rise in the level of participation in environmental decision-making. Public participation often takes places at the end of a decision-making process when citizens can only accept final decisions or protest against them. For environmental policies to be successful, this ‘outsider participation’ will have to be accompanied by more ‘insider participation’ in which citizens can participate throughout the decision-making process. Conditions for insider participation are improving in Southeast Asian countries: there are more legal provisions for participation, and cases of citizen and community involvement in pollution control are emerging. This chapter reviews some of the experiences with participation in environmental issues in Southeast Asia, and a number of cases of participation in pollution control are discussed. The results suggest that participation can improve the performance of pollution control policies. This is promising because traditional pollution control strategies in Southeast Asia are not very effective. However, too much reliance on participation can also encourage highly polluting firms to concentrate in areas where the participatory skills of individuals and communities are less developed.
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