Generally public participation seeks and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision. The principle of public participation holds that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. Public participation implies that the public`s contribution will influence the decision, with their opinions considered carefully in the decision-making process by the authorities. Public participation may be regarded as a way of empowerment and as vital part of a democratic and transparent governance.
Public participation allows the identification of impacts to the community that a positive (or negative) decision may have on the community, as viewed by the community. Early and continuing public involvement allows the project sponsor/owner to be aware of the problems and impacts, and to deal with these issues early. In that way, attempts can be made so that the impacts can be avoided, minimized or otherwise designed in a manner acceptable to all parties involved. If involved early, the public can provide insight (directly or indirectly) into what their community would find acceptable in the way of mitigation. Often, there are designs or enhancements that will allow the project to fit more harmoniously into the existing community.
If the demographics, values, impacts, and desires of a community are known early, and on a continuing basis through an effective public involvement process, the project sponsor/owner can better incorporate them into the design of the project. Design options can often also add enhancements into the project.
Whether Public Participation takes place as part of an EIA process to authorize a scheduled activity, EMPR process to allow mining or prospecting to take place, or part of the WULA process to authorize a water use activity, MENCO have considerable experience in Public Participation.
Example of completed projects
Various. See also our project page