This article centers on public involvement conducted at a regional scale, using the U.S. National Assessment of Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (NACC) to ground discussion. Though it is a national program, NACC assessments are being conducted in 19 regions and across several sectors. NACC's environmental issue is intangible and long term. Its “assessment” orientation means that public participation has no clear decision or policy on which to focus. Our role was to provide guidance for, in the language of NACC, “stakeholder involvement.” This article discusses two major elements as they influenced our decisions about what guidance to provide the program and how to provide it effectively. The two elements are the institutional and organizational structure of NACC itself and existing theoretical and experiential “golden rules” or “lessons” of public involvement. We summarize our resulting guidance to NACC for its regional assessment teams and our limited knowledge of how that guidance has been used. We end by calling for research to take advantage of the natural experiment that constitutes NACC — multiple, linked, simultaneous cases of regional-scale, assessment-oriented, public involvement.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2001
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