, Volume 172, Issue 1-4, pp 145-156
Date: 20 Feb 2010

Application of network method as a tool for integrating biodiversity values in Environmental Impact Assessment

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Highway construction or expansion projects are among major activities of economic development especially in developing countries. However, road development consistently can lead to major damages to the environment, including habitat fragmentation and ecological instabilities and a considerable threat to fauna and flora. At this point, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in road developments is needed to address and evaluate the ecological issues in decision-making. The object of this study is to strengthen the consideration of ecological issues, i.e., biodiversity in the existing EIA tools. This paper regards a network method as a means to make informed planning decisions by the lessons from a case study. The results indicate that network method is well suited to be applied in ecological impacts assessment. However, some limitations such as complexity and time consumed make casual networks unpopular. Also, impact of traffic noise on acoustic communication (wildlife and human) was performed. It has been shown that sound level for human is much higher than admissible standards. Finally, the study expresses some mitigation measures to improve the acquisition for environmental impact assessment process.