Case-Study Details

Main Information
Title Biodiversity and impact assessment
Type of Information Workshop Paper
Description Work is currently being undertaken to examine what role impact assessment can play in delivering international obligations on biodiversity conservation. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires biodiversity to be considered in impact assessments, but also provides an opportunity for a more positive approach to be taken in impact assessments, to identify opportunities for enhancing biodiversity, as well as mitigating impacts. This paper outlines the requirements of the CBD; examines what is required for biodiversity conservation from impact assessment; and identifies changes needed in traditional impact assessment systems to achieve this. The paper identifies that existing impact assessments are not dealing with ecological impacts satisfactorily, and are rarely dealing with biodiversity impacts at all. It concludes that the biodiversity agenda should be used to raise awareness of these issues within the impact assessment community, and to encourage a more positive approach, considering impacts on ecosystems as a whole, dealing with fragmentation of habitats or isolation of species, and identifying enhancement opportunities. This requires changes to legislation and procedures to introduce formal requirements for biodiversity issues to be addressed, as well as revised guidelines. In addition, structural changes are needed such as the establishment of a register of biodiversity experts, to ensure that the impact assessment process better addresses biodiversity. Examples of case studies and guidelines where biodiversity is addressed in impact assessment are called for to feed into ongoing work on this topic.
Web Link /impact/case-studies/cs-impact-bia-brooke-1998-en.pdf
Additional Information
Reference / Citation Clare Brooke, “Biodiversity and impact assessment,” prepared for the conference on Impact Assessment in a Developing World, Manchester, England. Oct 1998.
Programme Areas Impact Assessment
Ecosystem Approach
Keywords Environmental impact assessment
Strategic Environmental Assessment
Biodiversity Conservation
Protected species
Cost-benefit analysis
Ecosystem approach