The interconnected global economic system - combined with high rates of resource utilization and the degradation of natural capital - is eroding the resilience of the economy, society and the environment to the point where, as illustrated by Covid-19, they have become a severe risk to the wellbeing of people and the economy (IRP, 2020). As the rate of economic growth increases, so do the risks to health, food security, environment and climate.
One of the underlying reasons for the current situation is that the variety of impact assessment processes that are intended to predict the consequences of a given development proposal (a policy, plan, program, or a major project) are unable to deal effectively with the complexity and uncertainty of environmental change (Bond et al., 2015). This mismatch between established impact assessment practice and unpredictability can be addressed by the consideration of resilience, as part of good impact assessment practice (Jones, 2018; Slootweg and Jones, 2011). This research aims to identify how impact assessment processes can best incorporate consideration of resilience:
1) Analyse different approaches to resilience assessments for their potential future use in mainstream impact assessment processes;
2) Prepare recommendations for the consideration of resilience in impact assessment processes, with an emphasis on strategic levels of decision-making.
The research will help to develop a number of skills including:
• Research design
• Stakeholder engagement
• Documentary analysis
• Interview techniques
The student will be embedded in the 3S (Science, Society and Sustainability) research group within the School of Environmental Sciences.
NB Applications are processed as soon as they are received and the project may be filled before the closing date, so early application is encouraged