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Ecosystem Services Supporting Decision Making in Environmental Impact Assessments
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a systematic method to analyse and anticipate direct and indirect effects of activities. EIA considerably distinguishes itself from other assessment tools in that it is regulated by law. When the EIA method was introduced, it changed the prerequisites for getting consent for environmental hazardous activities.

Within the EIA method, assessing alternatives is a powerful systems analysis to assess efficient resource use. However, in practice, few alternatives to a proposed project are assessed. Mitigation measures within the proponent’s mindset often dominate. If the EIA instrument shall fulfil the need as a base for decisions to steer towards sustainable development, alternatives proposed by others, outside the proponent’s sphere, must be allowed within be the scope of assessment. Ecosystem services is a concept increasingly discussed in international policy making, aiming to describe the values of ecosystems to human well being. Including ecosystem services as part of EIA alternative analysis could improve the EIA process, thus better supporting sustainable decision-making. At first glance, we see two immediate uses of ecosystem services within the EIA method. The first potential is when assessing the impact of a proposed project, by including decreased delivery of ecosystem services and not only environmental disturbances. The second potential for ecosystem services is as support to open up for innovative alternatives, i.e. other ways to fulfil the needs of the proposed activity.

An increased understanding of ecosystem services could, within the EIA method, support a more comprehensive understanding of impacts from human activities, and help identify possible sustainable and advanced solutions to a proposed project.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-20478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-20478DiVA, id: diva2:676437
Conference
Ecological Modelling for Ecosystem Sustainability in the context of Global Change (19th biennial ISEM Conference)
Available from: 2013-12-06 Created: 2013-12-06 Last updated: 2014-01-22Bibliographically approved

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Longueville, AnnaCarlman, IngaFröling, MorganGrönlund, Erik

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CiteExportLink to record
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