Procedures for conserving biodiversity
Few procedures can be used for managing of impact on biodiversity from any human activity:
- Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) - procedures to identify serious problems be-fore they occur. Siting is the most important consideration in the EIA process. For example, in fragile island environments, all tourism facilities should be placed well away from sensitive habitats, and well above the high-water mark since natural erosion and accretion cycles are a feature of many beaches.
- Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has been developed to analyse and evalu-ate the environmental effects and implications of a proposed policy, plan or pro-gramme.
- Carrying Capacity Assessment (CCA) - determination of maximum load of activity or maximum number of users which can be sustained by a natural or man-made resource or system without endangering the character of that resource.
Environmental impact assessments are strategically important legal tools for protecting biodiversity because they seek to avoid problems before projects are implemented. They should be required for sectoral and land-use policies, programs and plans - particularly highway planning, river basin development, forestry and physical planning. It is often too late at the project stage to prevent major damage if that project is already part of an approved plan or program.