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and Environmental Accounting

By Gordon Boyce


Economic ‘development ’ involves processes which often jointly produce both goods and ‘bads’— economic, environmental and social. Such ‘bads’, however, are often technologically invisible, not least in terms of the way decisions are informed and accounted for. This paper takes as its case study a major development proposal which had potential economic, social, and environmental effects. The paper involves and exploration of official ‘independent ’ reports leading to the proposal. Considered are the various factors taken into the decision, how the processes were reported on and, in that sense, accounted for. In particular, financial/economic factors and social/environmental factors are examined. From this, the paper considers possibilities for a role for accounting in making public discourse, debate, and ultimately, decision-making, more open and transparent. Accounting could have an important role in both informing public discourse and debate, and creating new visibilities which stimulate contested terrain and invigorate that debate.- 1-INTRODUCTION: PUBLIC DISCOURSE AND DECISION-MAKING It is well-accepted that major development decisions impact on both the economy and the social and natural environment, yet, in practice, the pursuit of economic development and growth often sees social and environmental impacts of economic processes ignored or discounted. “Goods ” and “bads ” are produce

Year: 2011
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