Case-Study Details

Main Information
Title Are the potential impacts on biodiversity adequately assessed in Southern African environmental impact assessments?
Type of Information Workshop Paper
Description The aim of the paper is to evaluates how adequately biodiversity has been assessed in reports on Environmental Impact Assessments. The analysis is based the reports available from a number of EIAs, including scoping reports, specialist studies and Environmental Impact Reports. References to biodiversity, and biodiversity related issues, were classified according to whether they addressed the species, community or landscape level and compositional, structural or functional components of biodiversity. The analysis showed that the impacts on biodiversity are not being adequately addressed and that functional biodiversity, in particular, is inadequately assessed. There are various possible causes, with the most important one being inadequate terms of reference for the specialist studies and a failure to co-ordinate and integrate specialist studies. Many interested and affected parties, and often the personnel leading environmental impact assessments, do not understand the full meaning of biodiversity, particularly the importance of functional biodiversity. The possible solutions include developing guidelines, similar to the existing lists of "environmental characteristics", to ensure that biodiversity assessments cover the important issues. The guidelines could be complemented by providing training courses on biodiversity for project managers, specialists and other interested parties. Environmental Impact Assessments are potentially an important tool for the conservation of biodiversity but this potential is not being realised at present.
Web Link /impact/case-studies/cs-impact-iaia-za-lemaitre-etal-1998-en.pdf
Additional Information
Authors D.C. Le Maitre, D.I.W. Euston Brown, C.M. Gelderblom
Reference / Citation Le Maitre, D.C., Euston Brown, D.I.W. & C.M. Gelderblom. “Are the potential impacts on biodiversity adequately assessed in Southern African environmental impact assessments?” workshop on Biodiversity and Impact Assessment - Christchurch, New Zealand 21-22 April 1998
Programme Areas Impact Assessment
Ecosystem Approach
Keywords Scoping
Terms of reference
Environmental impact assessment