Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a procedure used to examine the environmental impacts and consequences, both beneficial and adverse, of a proposed infrastructure project and to ensure that these effects have been taken into account in the project’s design phase. The main EIA objectives are (i) to ensure that environmental considerations are addressed and incorporated into the development process; (ii) to anticipate and avoid, minimize or offset any biophysical, social or other effects of development proposals; (iii) to protect the productivity and capacity of natural systems and the ecological processes that maintain their functions; and (iv) to promote development that is sustainable and optimizes resource use and management opportunities. Satellite remote sensing is a powerful and efficient tool that could ensure acquisition of images over wide areas in short time and with great repetition, to be used in environmental impact studies.
These could be to monitor and detect the impacts caused by urban development, mining and land changes that appeared due to the human or natural factors. To validate the functionality of EO in this context, DLA Piper will focus on two examples that are located close to important ecosystems, including Key Biodiversity Areas and national parks. EIAs would be carried out prior to the projects on renewable energy generation go ahead to estimate their possible impacts on the sensitive areas, such as solar power plant projects.
Potential stakeholders in the context of this case are the individuals and communities affected by the proposed plant site, proponents and other project beneficiaries, government agencies, NGOs as well as the private sector and academics. The use case will cover the following three topics of key importance:
- Gathering of relevant information on the use of designated areas;
- Its compliance with environmental and social impact requirements; and
- The application and issuance of required and relevant permits for the construction and operation of energy plants.