LOCHARD J. - Living in Contaminated Territories: A Lesson in Stakeholder Involvement.
In: ’Current Trends in Radiation Protection’, EDP Sciences, 2004, pp. 211-220.
Expereince of long term radioactive contamination of the environment, especially in the territories the most affected by the Chernobyl accident, have shown that the omnipresence of radioactivity in the daily life was deeply altering the relationships of the individuals towards their environment, perceived as globally deteriorated, and to the others. Inhabitants of contaminated territories experience a general loss of control on their daily life and on the means to improve their protection and the one of their children. The need to develop comprehensive and inclusive approaches for the long term management and rehabilitation of potentially contaminated areas is now broadly recognised, notably in the post September 11th context. The experience of the ETHOS project in the republic of Belarus directly affected by the Chernobyl accident, illustrates a successful participatory approach involving the population and the local authorities and professionals in the day-to-day management of the radiological situation. This experience has shown that the direct involvement of the population in the management of the radiological situation was a necessary approach to complete the rehabilitation programme implemented by public authorities in contaminated territories, especially in the long term. This paper highlights, through the major outcomes of the ETHOS experience, some key features of the stakeholder involvement process and the role it can play in the management of long term contaminated sites and territories.