On biodiversity impact assessment: The rationale, conceptual challenges and implications for future EIA
Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Department of Agricultural Economics, School of Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness (SASA), P Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; Asterstraat 85, 6708 DK Wageningen, Netherlands
This paper highlights the need for and the conceptual challenges/issues in exercising biodiversity impact assessment (BIA), a subject hardly considered in most environmental impact assessment (EIA) activities so far. The paper attempts to lay the foundation for how future assessments can address biodiversity impacts more explicitly. The paper shows how development interventions and projects meant to take care of peoples' livelihoods are impacting on biodiversity. It presents the possible directions BIA has to focus in integrating externalities to inform decision making on the feasibility of development interventions. This is in essence to prevent, reduce and offset any adverse impacts (on biodiversity) of future development interventions. Addressing biodiversity valuation issues and identifying the appropriate methods to quantify the impacts will remain imperative in future endeavours to evaluate biodiversity impacts. © IAIA 2010.
biodiversity; decision making; environmental impact assessment; project assessment