Environmental and socio-economic assessment is a process that identifies the potential environmental and socio-economic effects of proposed activities before they are carried out. When a potential effect is identified and deemed substantial, referred to as a significant adverse effect, assessors recommend measures to reduce, control or eliminate those effects. If the significant adverse effects of a project cannot be mitigated, a “do not proceed” recommendation is submitted to the Decision Body(s). A Decision Body is a federal, territorial or First Nation government or agency that regulates and permits the proposed activity.
Assessments are conducted to ensure that when projects are undertaken they do not undermine the environment and social systems of individuals and communities. This is done by eliminating, reducing and controlling adverse environmental and socio-economic effects. Assessments also allow for transparency, public participation and input.
Environmental and socio-economic assessments offer a number of benefits to Yukoners. They provide opportunities for the public to become involved in the development of the territory, allow for increased protection of human health, and minimize environmental risk.
Yukon’s assessment process ensures that assessments are done independently by an impartial body and increases the accountability of decision-makers by ensuring all information relating to an assessment is available to the public. The process also reduces uncertainty by having set timelines at every stage.
YESAA legislation mandates assessors to look at the potential environmental and socio-economic effects of proposed activities and to recommend whether the activities should proceed, proceed with terms and conditions, or not proceed.
When assessments are complete, recommendations are sent to the relevant Decision Body(s). Decision Body(s) will then decide whether to accept, reject, or vary YESAB’s recommendation. Their decision is then issued in a Decision Document.