IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Environmental planning the process of facilitating decision making to carry out development with the consideration given to the natural environmental, social, political, economic and governance factors and provides a holistic frame work to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Environmental planning concerns itself with the decision making processes where they are required for managing relationships that exist within and between natural systems and human systems. Environmental planning endeavors to manage these processes in an effective, orderly, transparent and equitable manner for the benefit of all constituents within such systems for the present and for the future. Present day environmental planning practices are the result of continuous refinement and expansion of the scope of such decision making processes. Some of the main elements of present day environmental planning are:
Social & economic development
Natural resource management & integrated land use
The environmental planning assessments encompass areas such as landuse, socioeconomics, transportation, economic and housing characteristics, air pollution, noise pollution, the wetlands, habitat of the endangered species, flood zones susceptibility, coastal zones erosion, and visual studies among others, and is referred to as an Integrated environmental planning assessment. It is the ability to analyze environmental issues that will facilitate critical decision making.
Traditionally, environmental planning has been based predominantly on the interdisciplinary study of environmental systems, based mainly in the sciences and economics. The underlying value system has essentially been an economic market model. Some researchers believe that this approach does not capture the wide range of societal values and concerns about the environment and are suggesting a more multi-disciplinary approach that emphasizes long-term resource management and sustainability.
New approaches are emerging that combine interdisciplinary science, ecological economics, and social sciences. Most importantly though are the collaborative processes which aim to integrate a wide range of values and perspectives in environmental management. The ecosystem approach focuses on a new scientific framework from which to examine environmental problems, it focuses on an expanded definition of ecosystem.