Environmental Impact Analysis
Environmental impact analysis is a term that refers to the formal process that is used for purposes of predicting environmental consequences whether positive or negative. It is the policy, plan, project or policy that is taken prior to implementation proposes and it helps propose the measures needed in order to adjust environmental impact to levels that are acceptable or to investigate some new technological solutions.
Although an analysis can lead to difficult economic decisions, social and political concerns, it is important simply because it helps protect the environment through provision of sound basis for sustainable and effective development.
The goal of analysis is ensuring decision makes take into consideration the impacts when they decide whether or not they should proceed with any project. Local developers, planner and officials are among those that are increasingly recognizing there is an need to ensure economic development and environmental quality are of given the importance they deserve towards the growth of the community.
More often than not though, the awareness comes long after decades of environmental neglect, loss of unique animal communities and plants, irreversible conversion of agricultural prime land and development of sprawling urban boundaries.
IAIA (The International Association for Impact Assessment) defines environmental impact analysis as ‘ the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating biophysical, social and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitment made’.
Analysis is unique because of the fact that when it is been carried out, it does not need any adherence of a predetermined environmental outcome. Instead, it requires that decision makers should account for any environmental values they make in their decisions and also justify the rights in light of detailed public comments and environmental studies on any environmental impact that might arise.
Environmental impact analysis was first carried out during the 1960’s and it was a part of the process of raising environmental awareness. They involved technical evaluation that was intended to contribute towards making more objective decisions.
In the US, environmental impact analysis started in 1969 formally when the National Environmental Policy Act was implemented. Since then, there has been a steady increase in the number of environmental impact analysis carried out globally.
At the end of the analysis, there is usually a n audit carried out evaluate how accurate the analysis is compared to the actual impact. This is for purposes of making future analysis’s more effective and valid. There are two primary aspects taken into consideration and they include scientific and management audits. Note that the right individuals should be given the mandate of carrying out the analysis as well.
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