Application of Environmental Quality Objectives in Regional Scale Infrastructure Projects: a Swedish Example
2011 (English)In: From biodiversity to ecosystem services: The changing face of EIA, IAIA , 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
It is rarely possible to develop transport infrastructure without significant ecological impacts. A road or a railway will provide new habitat for some species, however, the overall environmental impacts, not at least on biodiversity, tend to be problematic. In order to improve the integration of transport infrastructure in its environmental and cultural settings, different strategies, methods and tools have been developed. EIA and SEA are examples of such methods. In Sweden 16 national environmental quality objectives have been formulated with the intention to guide societal development onto a sustainable path, i.e. to be used in infrastructure planning. The study reviews the experiences of the implementation and utilization of these environmental objectives in infrastructure project planning, including their influence on EIA and SEA procedures. Interviews were held with infrastructure planners, EIA and SEA consultants, representatives of permitting authorities etc.; followed by workshops and seminars. The results show that the objectives are overriding, but difficult to transfer and integrate into the different levels of project planning. Environmental concern seems currently to be driven by other factors. In order to use the official environmental quality objectives as guidance for road and railway planning, consensus on definitions, interpretations and intrinsic relations between different objectives, including the underlying environmental aspects (e.g. between biodiversity and other environmental aspects and objectives such as ‘landscape’), are urged for.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IAIA , 2011.
environmental quality objectives biodiversity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58622OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-58622DiVA: diva2:473448
International Association for Impact Assessment 2011
QC 201201232012-01-232012-01-062013-12-20Bibliographically approved