Publication: Cumulative Impact Assessment and Management : Guidance for the Private Sector in Emerging Markets

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Cardinale, Pablo
Greig, Lorne
The major environmental and social management challenges that we face today, climate change, loss of biodiversity, the decline of ocean fisheries, limitations on food security, the scarcity of usable freshwater resources, displacement of communities with consequent increases in urban poverty, and inviability of traditional local livelihoods, are all the result of cumulative impacts from a large number of activities that are for the most part individually insignificant, but together have had regional or even global repercussions. The importance of understanding the cumulative environmental and social impacts from multiple projects, actions, or activities, or even from the same actions over an extended period of time, located in the same geographic region or affecting the same resource (e.g., watershed, airshed) has been acknowledged for decades. In some cases, the most ecologically devastating environmental effects and subsequent social consequences may result not from the direct effects of a particular action, project, or activity but from the combination of existing stresses and the individually minor effects of multiple actions over time (Clarke 1994). This good practice handbook is based on IFC's experience in applying its performance standards and is non-prescriptive in its approach. It should be used in conjunction with the Performance Standards, their guidance notes, and the World Bank Group environmental, health, and safety guidelines, which contain basic requirements and good international practices to be followed when designing, developing, and/or implementing projects. This document is not intended to duplicate requirements under the existing IFC sustainability framework. Its purpose is to provide practical guidance to companies investing in emerging markets to improve their understanding, assessment, and management of cumulative environmental and social impacts associated with their developments.mulative
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Cardinale, Pablo; Greig, Lorne. 2013. Cumulative Impact Assessment and Management : Guidance for the Private Sector in Emerging Markets. © International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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