It is possible to produce environmental assessments in an efficient, economical manner by the careful advance specification of future information needs, the collection of the pertinent data into a single set of sectoral reports, and subsequent analysis of the information on a case-by-case basis as individual projects arise. The procedure for this, in six main steps, can be as follows:
A development scenario is produced that is a description of the chronological sequence of economic, industrial, and agricultural, activities. The scenario is studied to identify potential issues and conflicts. A list of basic questions and more specific sub-questions that follow from the issues and conflicts is then derived. The data to answer those questions are then collected and organized into sectoral reports. Later, as each assessment need arises, these sectoral reports will be found to contain the information that is required. Finally, the assessment is produced from the sectoral reports and leads to a decision on which action is taken.
The mechanics of the above procedure include: surveys of a wide range of information sources, each survey using sources which are appropriate to the step that is being taken; use of a standing core assessment group; use of common base-maps and formats; and well-planned interdisciplinary meetings.
As well as producing assessments at short notice, the procedure can be expected to provide priorities for research, and eventually to lead to due insertion of environmental considerations into national planning during the planning stage itself.