The role of the environmental impact assessment process in promoting sustainable land development has been widely acknowledged globally and particularly in Malaysia. Environmental impact assessment is essentially a tool formulated and developed for assisting decision making process of a particular development activity. Environmental impact assessment enables environmental consideration to be taken into account at both the planning and implementation stages of a development project in order to strike a balance between the need for development and the conservation of the environment in a sustainable manner. This is achieved by avoiding costly mistakes in project implementation, either because of the environmental damages that are likely to arise during project implementation, or because of modifications that may be required subsequently in order to make any development activity environmentally acceptable. Environmental impact assessment when integrated into the existing development planning and decision making machinery proves to be useful as it provides additional information towards better decision making. It has been nearly two decades since the introduction of environmental impact assessment for development activities with the insertion of section 34A into the Environmental Quality Act 1974 in Malaysia. Section 34A requires all activities prescribed in the Schedule to the Environmental Quality (Prescribed Activities)(Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 1987 to conduct and submit an environmental impact assessment report setting out the impact of such activity on the human environment and mitigating measures to overcome the same.
Environmental Impact Assessment Process and Sustainable Land Development in Malaysia
An article published as a chapter in book ' Land Use Planning and Environmental Sustainability in Malaysia: Policies and Trends, edited by Hunud Abia Kadouf published by the Research Management Center of the International Islamic University Malaysia