Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Baseline data collection required for EIA

Baseline data collection required for EIA
Baseline data collection refers to collection collection of baseline information information on biophysical biophysical, social and economic aspects of a project area.
Project area is defined as the area where environmental environmental effects effects and impacts impacts are felt during construction or operational stages of a project.

Collection of baseline information serves two purposes: 

  • It provides a description of the status and trends of environmental factors (e.g., air pollutant concentrations) against which predicted changes can be compared and evaluated in terms of importance.
  • It provides a means of detecting actual change by monitoring once a project has been initiated.

Major environmental environmental parameters parameters to be considered in field are:

  • Physical: topography, geology, soil types, surface and ground water condition, watershed condition, pollution levels etc.
  • Biological: terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, types flora and fauna, environmentally environmentally sensitive sensitive wetlands wetlands, prime agricultural land etc
  • Socio‐economic: demography, development needs and potential, infrastructure facilities, economic activities etc.
  • Cultural: location and state of archeological, historical, religious sites

Primary Sources: Result of the field and laboratory data collected and analyzed directly
Secondary sources: Data collected indirectly from published records or documents such as project documents, village proFlie, maps,photos, internet sources etc

Methods of data collection:

  1. General methods: Literature review, map interpretation, checklists (e.g. scaling and questionnaire checklists, matrices etc)
  2. Resource‐based methods: methods: Scientific Scientific instruments instruments and techniques techniques(inventory, species area curve, sampling techniques, PRA, RRA)

Data Processing
Raw data is converted into knowledge and information that is more easily comprehensible. Tools such as tables, graphs, maps can be used for presentation.

  1. For physical data: graphs, tables, enumeration
  2. For biological data: species numbers, volume, density, biomass can be calculated.
  3. Species diversity (No. of species/Area sampled) can also be used for processing processing biological biological data calculated calculated through through species richness of an area.
  4. Socioeconomic data: Data such as male/female male/female, skilled/semi skilled/semi skilled skilled labor force for construction and operational activities can be presented through, graphs, tables, population pyramids etc. which can be collected through sampling (random, stratified or mixed).

Baseline studies in EIA may take a long time, hence EIA is blamed for higher costs and delays in project implementation.
Therefore, the studies should be focused on those aspects that are likely to be affected.
Four critical points exist project implementation

  1. Decision on Project Project Approval Approval
  2. Decision on the Location of Project
  3. Decision on the Project Design
  4. Decision on the Operation of Project

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