Environmental impact assessmentl (EIA) is the process of predicting and evaluating an action's impacts on the environment, the conclusions to be used as a tool in decision-making. It aims to prevent environmental degradation by giving decision-makers better information about the consequences that development actions could have on the environment, but can not, of itself, achieve that prevention. Briefly, EIA involves reviewing the existing state of the environment and the characteristics of the proposed action (and possibly alternative actions); predicting the state of the future environment with and without the action (the difference between the two is the action's impact); considering methods for reducing or eliminating any negative impacts; preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) that discusses these points; and, after a decision is made about whether the action should proceed, possibly monitoring the actual impacts of the action. EIA, as an approach to environmental issues, can be characterized as multidisciplinary and predictive. In its most usual manifestation it is closely linked with the planning system.