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close this bookEnvironmental Handbook Volume I: Introduction, Cross-sectoral Planning, Infrastructure (GTZ, 1995, 591 p.)
close this folderGuidelines for conducting a comprehensive study of a project's environmental aspects
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. Definition of the area(s) affected
View the document2. Existing stresses and stability/stress resistance of ecosystems
View the document3. Description of stresses originating from the project
View the document4. Assessment of future overall stresses and their impacts
View the document5. Recommendations for environmentally sound options
View the document6. Overall assessment and decision-making aids

1. Definition of the area(s) affected

1.1 Climate and weather


radiation, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, precipita-tion, evaporation, direction and speed of wind


inversions, frequency of fog, local winds

Weather risks:

storms, sandstorms and dust storms, hail, torrential downpours, high water, flooding

Risk of natural disasters:

earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons etc.

1.2 Soil and groundwater

- Soil type
- Soil stability (landslip and erosion risks)
- Soil fertility
- Groundwater resources and their quality
- Groundwater formation and flow
- Geological structure, nature of rock, tectonics
- Groundwater recharge and flow

1.3 Hydrological cycle

- Information on the aquatic ecosystem
- Flowing waters with details of yearly flow and water quality, catchment areas
- Stagnant waters
- Coasts and seas
- Use of waters for fishing
- Obtaining drinking-water supplies
- Other uses

1.4 Vegetation and land use

- Existence of regional planning

- Agriculture: field use, livestock husbandry, irrigation, terracing (large-scale, with use of fertilisers, pesticides etc.)

- Forestry: commercial timber, fuelwood, natural forest, plantations

- Industrial areas

- Transport routes

- Other infrastructure

- Tourist areas/recreational areas

- Functions as a natural environment (particularly sensitive in ecological terms)

- Protected areas

1.5 Flora and fauna with particular reference to their need for protection

- Protected and endangered species (taking into account their position within the ecosystem)

- Beneficial and non-beneficial species

- Fauna and flora as the basis of the food supply

1.6 Population and settlement

- Size of population, age structure, gender index
- Population density/pressure and carrying capacity
- Sources of income and gainful activity2)
- Nutrition, health status
- Level of education, illiteracy rate
- Fuel and water consumption, quantities of solid wastes and wastewater
- Ways of life on the basis of nature and form of land use
- Environmental awareness, attitude towards nature
- Structures for averting and coping with natural disasters
- Form of settlement in the vicinity of the possible project location

2) Study of gender-specific environmental relevance.

1.7 Components of the ecosystem meriting particular protection, miscellaneous

- Natural resources: groundwater, bodies of surface water (e.g. containing large fish stocks), soils (e.g. arable farming), woodlands, mineral resources, ecosystems meriting protection, endangered species (conventions on protection of species, international protection regulations etc.), areas meriting protection for cultural reasons

- Cultural monuments, historical buildings

- Established settlement and social structures

- Settlement landscape and natural landscape