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Biodiversity in environmental assessment: tools for impact prediction
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Urbanisation and infrastructure developments impact on the surrounding natural environment and threaten biodiversity. The fragmentation of natural habitats in particular is a major obstacle for the preservation of biodiversity in a long-term perspective. In the planning process, both the environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment processes play a central role in the identification and prediction of impacts on biodiversity. At the same time, the devel-opment of GIS technologies and GIS-based ecological models offer new perspectives in the elaboration of predictions. In order to analyse current practices and identify the need for im-provements in the environmental impact process, a review of environmental impact assessment reports was carried out. Further, a review of existing GIS methods and GIS-based ecological models is presented. The results of the review of environmental impact assessment reports show a lack of predictions in current biodiversity assessments. These asssessments often concentrate on impacts at the local scale, failing to consider large-scale and widespread impacts at the ecosys-tem and landscape levels. The review of GIS methods and GIS-based ecological models demon-strate the possibility to generate quantitative predictions for a specific area as well as for it’s sur-rounding environment. At the same time, the flexibility and reproducibility of such methods would allow predictions to be made for different alternatives or scenarios, therefore providing decision makers with relevant information of potential impacts on biodiversity. This would, in turn, result in an improved integration of biodiversity issues in physical planning and contribute to a sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2005. , ix, 16 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. LIC, ISSN 1650-8629 ; 2025
Keyword [en]
Environmental technology, Environmental impact assessment; Strategic environmental assessment; Biodiversity assessment; Prediction tools; GIS; GIS-base ecological models
Keyword [sv]
Miljöteknik
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-278ISBN: 91-7178-013-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-278DiVA: diva2:8492
Presentation
2005-04-14, Sal V35, Teknikringen 72, Stockholm, 13:15
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101129Available from: 2005-07-06 Created: 2005-07-06 Last updated: 2010-11-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Biodiversity in environmental assessment: current practice and tools for prediction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biodiversity in environmental assessment: current practice and tools for prediction
2006 (English)In: Environmental impact assessment review, ISSN 0195-9255, E-ISSN 1873-6432, Vol. 26, no 3, 268-286 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity. Environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment are essential instruments used in physical planning to address such problems. Yet there are no well-developed methods for quantifying and predicting impacts of fragmentation on biodiversity. In this study, a literature review was conducted on GIS-based ecological models that have potential as prediction tools for biodiversity assessment. Further, a review of environmental impact statements for road and railway projects from four European countries was performed, to study how impact prediction concerning biodiversity issues was addressed. The results of the study showed the existing gap between research in GIS-based ecological modelling and current practice in biodiversity assessment within environmental assessment.

Keyword
environmental impact assessment; biodiversity assessment; GIS-based ecological modelling; prediction tools; strategic environmental assessment; road and railway projects
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8531 (URN)10.1016/j.eiar.2005.09.001 (DOI)000236979200004 ()2-s2.0-33645851034 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150721

Available from: 2008-05-27 Created: 2008-05-27 Last updated: 2015-07-21Bibliographically approved
2. Integrating landscape ecology in environmental impact assessment using GIS and ecological modelling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating landscape ecology in environmental impact assessment using GIS and ecological modelling
2006 (English)In: From landscape research to landscape planning / [ed] Tress, B., Tress, G. and Opdam, P., Springer, 2006, 345-354 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Ecological assessment in environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment processes requires improvements. The descriptive and qualitative nature of many ecological assessments suggests a need to develop and implement quantitative and predictive methods to assess problems such as fragmentation and impacts on biodiversity. Such tools, from basic GIS applications to more advanced ecological models, already exist and have reached a level of development that allows practical implementation outside the research sphere. The chapter presents a literature review on the potential application and advantages of ecological models and GIS-based methods in carrying out ecological assessments in the Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment processes. The implementation of such tools translates into practice certain concepts of landscape ecology related to ecological dynamic or spatial and temporal scales. Although data requirements and the complexity of ecological models are limitations to their reproducibility and application range, the integration of landscape-ecology concepts in ecological assessment through the use of ecological models and GIS tools would contribute to the sustainable management of landscapes and their ecological resources. Finally, I argue that predictive modelling and GIS tools can also serve as a platform to integrate other landscape components that can be characterized spatially such as recreational and cultural values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2006
Series
Wageningen UR Frontis series, ISSN 1573-4544 ; 12
Keyword
ecological assessment; strategic environmental assessment; GIS; predictive methods
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8533 (URN)1-4020-3978-6 (ISBN)
Conference
Frontis workshop from landscape research to landscape planning: aspects of integration, education and application, Bakkaveen, The Netherlands 1-6 June 2004
Note
QC 20100727Available from: 2008-05-27 Created: 2008-05-27 Last updated: 2012-02-10Bibliographically approved
3. Impacts of region-wide urban development on biodiversity in strategic environmental assessment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Impacts of region-wide urban development on biodiversity in strategic environmental assessment
2005 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, ISSN 1464-3332, Vol. 7, no 2, 229-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In urbanising regions, urban sprawl and infrastructure cause profound alterations of natural habitats. Initial decisions on urban expansion and major infrastructure investments are often made on a strategic level where the long-term development of a region is determined. For these types of decisions a strategic environmental assessment can be prepared. However, the lack of an adequate conceptual and methodological framework can pose a major problem for the prediction of impacts, not least concerning biodiversity. This paper will highlight the need for effective methods for biodiversity analysis at landscape and regional levels, with reference to the long-term urban development of the Stockholm and Mälaren regions. Problems of habitat loss, fragmentation and other impacts related to large-scale urbanisation and infrastructure developments will be addressed. GIS-based methods focusing on predictive ecological modelling will be discussed in a scenario context. The implementation of such methodologies in the strategic environmental assessment process would allow a better integration of biodiversity in planning and decision-making, further promoting a sustainable planning system.

Keyword
Strategic environmental assessment; biodiversity assessment; urbanisation; scenarios; polycentricity
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8532 (URN)10.1142/S1464333205002006 (DOI)2-s2.0-20444373368 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150731

Available from: 2008-05-27 Created: 2008-05-27 Last updated: 2015-07-31Bibliographically approved

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