Operationalising sustainability impact assessment of land use scenarios in developing countries: A stakeholder-based approach with case studies in China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, and Tunisia

Hannes J. König


Growing populations, continued economic development, and limited natural resources are critical factors affecting sustainable development. Ex-ante impact assessment is an emerging field poised at the science-policy interface and is used to assess the potential impacts of policy while also exploring trade-offs between economic, social and environmental sustainability targets. The Framework for Participatory Impact Assessment (FoPIA) was selected for this study because it allows for the integration of various sustainability dimensions, the handling of complexity, and the incorporation of local stakeholder perceptions. FoPIA was adapted to the conditions of developing countries, and its implementation was demonstrated in five selected case studies. Based on the findings from the five case studies, FoPIA was found to be suitable for implementing the impact assessment at case study level while ensuring a high level of transparency. FoPIA supports the identification of causal relationships underlying regional land use problems, facilitates communication among stakeholders and illustrates the effects of alternative decision options with respect to all three dimensions of sustainable development.

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