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Devane, Denis John, 2016. The Aarhus Convention and the experience of public participation in environmental impact assessments : a case study of an onshore wind farm in the Republic of Ireland. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Public participation in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process is
essential to expediting societies’ shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies
such as wind power. The current state of public participation in EIAs is highly
contested as the debate on what can be done to improve it continues. The
primary focus of the thesis is to study public participation and its use in an Irish
EIA. It aims to explore exactly how stakeholders of the Lisheen Wind Farm case
experienced the public participation offered to them and to what extent did it
abide by the main three principal pillars of the Aarhus Convention. The research
approach adopted in this thesis utilises an explorative case study approach. By
choosing a single representative case study the thesis can concentrate on
assessing how the public participation was conducted as well as exploring the
experiences of the participants. Qualitative methods were predominately used as
the thesis adopted a dual analysis approach utilising practice evaluation criteria
and phenomenological methods.
The case study findings showed that all of the practice evaluation criteria were
fulfilled. However; the results also displayed the weaknesses that are still
present in public participation today, such as poor information provision, poor
facilitation and the existence of monetary barriers. The phenomenological
analysis, with its focus on more subjective elements, found that social factors
such as civic duty and self-perception can affect how much participants engage
in the participation process. The conclusions drawn from the case study findings
are, firstly, that the public participation in the case adhered to the primary
principals of the Aarhus Convention. Secondly that deeper insights gathered
from the experiences of participants are an underutilised and could be valuable
asset in the goal of improving public participation in EIAs.

Main title:The Aarhus Convention and the experience of public participation in environmental impact assessments
Subtitle:a case study of an onshore wind farm in the Republic of Ireland
Authors:Devane, Denis John
Supervisor:Wärnbäck, Antoienette and de Neergaard, Andreas
Examiner:Tag-Eldeen, Zeinab and Granvik, Madeleine
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM025 EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:Environmental Impact Assessment, public participation, aarhus convention, experience of participation, wind energy
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Energy resources management
Renewable energy resources
Non-renewable energy resources
Deposited On:23 Nov 2016 10:50
Metadata Last Modified:24 Aug 2017 08:03

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