Environmental monetary valuation in environmental impact assessment (EIA) : a Malaysian perspective
This thesis examines environmental impact assessment (EIA) practices and limitations in Malaysia, and assesses the potential for integrating environmental monetary valuation to the EIA process. This thesis has four research objectives: 1) to analyse the application of EIA in Malaysia and to identify the current practices particularly with respect to valuing environmental impacts; 2) to identify appropriate environmental monetary valuation techniques that could be used in EIA; 3) to apply an appropriate environmental monetary valuation technique to Malaysian EIA through a case study; and 4) to provide an initial evaluation of the proposed technique by EIA practitioners. The content analysis of 165 EIA reports indicates a lack of environmental monetary valuation in EIA in Malaysia, and that project costs were poorly presented. In addition, the semi-structured interviews indicate that the quality of EIA in Malaysia depends on the quality and experiences of the EIA consultants. The case study using CV MS technique in EIA indicated that CV MS is an appropriate technique in the Malaysian context. It is concluded that the CV MS technique can facilitate wider public participation in EIA for a balanced and societal decision for economic development and environmental protection. As a result, CV MS can bring together scientific, social, and economic input within EIA reporting. This thesis concludes with recommendation for integrating the CV MS technique to the EIA process in Malaysia, and makes suggestions regarding how the limitations of CV MS in EIA might be overcome to ensure a balance between development needs and Malaysian environmental objectives within the context of the Malaysian people.