Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
An environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the possible impacts that a proposed project may have on the environment, consisting of the environmental, social and economic aspects. Environmental impact assessment ensures that decision makers consider the environmental impacts when deciding whether to proceed with a project. The application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Environmental Management and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Audit process has gained substantial momentum over the past few years. Analyzing developments in their spatial context during the initial stages of the EIA process expedites the identification of potential aspects and impacts that may have to be assessed while the process goes on. Potential risk factors may be identified upfront and presented to the client to assess the viability of proceeding with the project. This approach is time and cost saving.
Techno environment use GIS because it is most effectively for environmental data analysis and planning. It allows better viewing and understanding physical features and the relationships that influence in a given critical environmental condition. Factors, such as steepness of slopes, aspects, and vegetation, can be viewed and overlaid to determine various environmental parameters and impact analysis.
GIS can also display and analyze aerial photographs. Digital information can be overlaid on photographs to provide environmental data analysts with more familiar views of landscapes and associated data. GIS can provide a quick, comparative view of hazards (highly prone areas) and risks (areas of high risk which may occur) and areas to be safeguarded.
On completion of data analysis, GIS can help in effective planning and managing the environmental hazards and risks. In order to plan and monitor the environmental problems, the assessment of hazards and risks becomes the foundation for planning decisions and for mitigation activities. GIS supports activities in environmental assessment, monitoring, and mitigation and can also be used for generating environmental models.
GIS can aid in hazard mitigation and future planning, air pollution & control, disaster management, forest fires management, managing natural resources, wastewater management, oil spills and its remedial actions etc.