Factors that influence the independence of EIA follow-up verifiers: a developing country perspective
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Independent verification is an important aspect of practice for ensuring the credibility of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). However, the independence of verifiers such as checkers, auditors, and Environmental Control Officers, may be influenced by various factors that may lead to a conflict of interest between role-players in EIA and EIA followup. Identifying these factors is, therefore, important. A total of 18 factors were identified by analysing literature from established verification professions and data derived within the South African context by means of interviews and workshops dedicated to clarifying independence of verifiers. The factors were divided into five categories: financial; commercial; professional; personal; and other. By shedding light on factors that influence the independence of EIA followup verifiers, this research aids in anticipating and avoiding potential conflicts of interest.