Age estimations process is not standardized worldwide. However, there is a wide agreement about the most suitable methods currently available. Up until now, the procedure of creating expert reports and to implement quality assurance in age estimation are variable.
Aim: The aim of this paper was to examine expert age estimation reports from around the world and identify the similarities and shortcomings present, which will help in providing recommendations to improve the reporting to reach standardization in expert age estimation reports.
Methods and Material: A questionnaire was developed to explore whether there is a universal consensus in writing age estimation reports. Countries participated in the survey were: Afghanistan, Australia, France, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Areas investigated by the survey included: Information about the individual in question and the entity requesting the assessment, if age interval is given along with if statistics were described in the report, if population reference data are used and reported and finally if the format of the report is standardized within each country.
Results: The results of this survey suggest that there is a high degree of individual variation in age estimation reports, sometimes even within the same country. While the majority of participants report the main findings, some important information is still missing. The statistical information remains extremely varied.
Conclusion: Although a resolution is not obvious, it is hoped that this study will promote further research and discussion on reporting age estimation. International guidelines on quality assurance in age estimation reports are urgently needed. Information to be reported should be specified on an international level and the exact report format to be used could be left to the national societies.
The paper presents and develops the issue of Cumulative Effect Assessment (CEA) in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening procedure established by the State and Regional regulations In Italy. In the period 2001-15 in the territory of the Venice province (north east Italy, Veneto region) n. 328 projects (and the related environmental preliminary/definitive studies) were applied to competent Authorities (6% to the State, 39% to the Region and 55% to the Province). All the Environmental Impact Studies (EISs) and Environmental Preliminary Studies (EPSs) referring to the this territory officially applied to competent Authorities in the period 2001-2010, have been analysed with focus on the identification and assessment of cumulative effects (CEs); the projects considered and analysed for this purpose comprise a total of n. 181 EIA screening and ordinary procedures; the remaining 147 projects in the period 2011-15 (for a total of 328) are here considered only for statistical reason to an update assessment of project typologies in the same territory.
The methodology applied for the analysis of the sample of environmental studies in the period 2001-10 refers to that presented by Cooper and Sheate (2002) with modifications. The investigation has been developed looking for the way in which the topic is performed by practitioners in the environmental studies as from qualitative as well as quantitative point of view. Specific attention has been paid to waste management plants which are always subject to EIA screening procedure since 2008 according to Directive 97/11/EEC and in case to the whole EIA procedure. The approach proposed by Lombardia Region (North Italy; 2010) for EIA screening procedure of waste management plants has been applied to identify CEs and modified according to the characteristics of the considered territory; it allows the performance of the project-based approach and must be completed with a regional-based approach (Dubè, 2003). The proposed approach can be useful in case of waste management and IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, Directive 96/61/EEC, amended with Directives 2008/1/EC and 2010/75/EU) plants to define the financial warranties required for the authorization of operative activity of the plants to cover potential environmental damages produced in cases of accidents and other conditions as required in Europe (art. 14 Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability).
Several project categories were chosen and their EISs analysed as an exemplificative case according to the potential generation of cumulative impacts and the characteristics of the territory. With reference to the completed procedures where the competent Authority presented a final judgement, it has been observed that the CEA has been seldom developed due to not compulsory legal requirements as already observed by Burris and Canter (1997). Moreover, when it is considered, the methodology is limited and not systemized. Indices of impact have been identified according to emission for the main environmental components focussed with the analysis of the pressure factors of the plants. The study points out the need to analyse and evaluate the cumulative effects (CEs) at a strategic level (within the Strategic Environmental Assessment-SEA- procedure) with a view to preparing the study for EIA/EPS framework procedure for the projects derived from the corresponding plan/program. A sound knowledge of the considered territory and in particular of its pressure sources is of main importance for CEA assessment and impacts’ prevention. Geographic Information Sytesm (GIS) application is strongly needed for pressure sources’ census and control data storing
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