Environmental Implication Assessment
The Environmental Implication Assessment procedure represents an initial evaluation required for any project likely to have a significant effect, individually or in combination with other projects, on a Natura 2000 Network site and takes into account the conservation requirements of the site.
Biodiversity safeguard is one of the main aspects of European environmental policy as displayed by various Directives that establish the core of biodiversity protection on the European soil. The most important are: Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds, integrated by Directive 2009/147/EEC, and “Habitats” Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and flora and fauna which, in article No.6, introduces the Implication Assessment Procedure.
At national level, Habitats Directive was transposed by DPR No. 357/1997 and amended in DPR No. 120/2003. In article 6 is possible to find a brief definition of a procedure defined implication assessment study, with guidelines to be found in annex G, and a description regarding the main effects the interventions might have on the related area subject to conservation measures (European Relevant Areas).
In this legal framework, implication assessment studies constitute a moment of great importance in the Environmental Implication Assessment procedure, during which the environmental sector experts show all the data, information and supporting proposals in order to enable the formulation of a reliable judgment by the evaluating organizations.
Objectives of the work
The purpose of Environmental Implication Assessments is to preserve the site natural resources which made it eligible for the Natura 2000 network. This is made possible thanks to the recognition of the potential consequences that may arise during work construction and operation or project implementation and to the adoption of compensatory measures and/or mitigation plans.
Depending on the type of project, the Implication Assessment can be part of EIA or SEA procedures or set up a procedure in its own right.
Implication Assessment procedures can be classified in the following stages, as article No.6 of “Habitats” Directive 92/43/EEC prescribes:
VDP objective regarding Environmental Implication Assessments is to support the Proponent during the later stages of the procedure which ensure the project is respectful of the Law. Thanks to the experience gained in numerous projects VDP is able to provide a complete and reliable assistance.
Thanks to the management of several studies, VDP has developed specific expertise in drafting Environmental Implication Assessments, acquiring the ability to work in synergy with work proponents and project designers in order to share choices and pursue common goals.
On the basis of the experience gained over the years in the fields of ecology, botany and zoology, VDP has adopted a methodological approach that allows the company to tailor offered services to the project specifications and territory peculiarities. This ensures the pursuit of site conservation for which Natura 2000 network has been created.
The services offered by VDP in the context of Environmental Implication Assessments are summarized below:
Environmental Implication Assessment preparation is based on an Analytical Stage and on an Assessment Stage. The first regards biotic aspects of the Natura 2000 site, through surveys of the area, consultation of previous studies and of territorial planning documents. In support of the study synthesis maps are drawn up in order to make the habitat and wildlife distribution comprehensible to average readers.
In the Assessment stage the effects induced by project are evaluated, through the use of indicators, in order to bring out potential problems and address plan choices towards preservation of the protected areas.