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Research Paper | Geography | India | Volume 10 Issue 11, November 2021
The Need and Use of Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Impact Assessment
Abstract: Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse. Although legislation and practice vary around the world, the fundamental components of an EIA would necessarily involve the Screening, Scoping, Assessment and evaluation of impacts and development of alternatives, Reporting, Review, Decision-making, and Monitoring, compliance, enforcement and environmental auditing. World have experienced untold environmental degradation and ecological deterioration in the past century, with little or no real solution to alleviate many of these concerns. Poorly planned human interference has been the major cause. Adequate information and appropriate technology are limiting factors for effective environmental management. Hence, efforts to improve, conserve and protect the environment will include not only the resolution of political policies but also the application of a state-of-the-art scientific approach to planning and implementation. The process of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was developed as an effective planning tool. The genuine conduct of this process will go a long way in reducing environmental deterioration. Because of the dynamic characteristics and multivariate nature of the environment, it has often been difficult to collate, analyze and interpret its data sets. This great complexity can be overcome, however, with the innovation and application of a system of computer tools such as the Geographic Information System (GIS) and related technology. Geographic Information System can be used and applied extensively for environmental impact assessment issues prevalent in many other developing nations. Some areas where GIS will be useful include: Storage, analysis and display of large data sets, Database creation, documentation and management; Environmental impact modeling, Environmental data and EIA analyses, Habitat Suitability Index. Habitat quality for wildlife population has a spatial component across large geographic areas, Aid in decision-making or policy formulation, Environmental Impact Auditing, Environmental Impact Mapping and Analysis, GIS can be used to map the sensitivity of the environment and its components to proposed projects. It also has the capabilities of carrying out various analyses on both locational and non-locational data. GIS analyses include statistical analysis, trend analysis, overlays, buffering, distance analysis, cost analysis and many more.
Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment, Geographical Information System, Environmental Impact Auditing and Environmental Impact Mapping
Edition: Volume 10 Issue 11, November 2021,
Pages: 206 - 213
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