|Initial Environmental Assessment: Transport - Series no 8 (NORAD, 1994)|
The global natural resource base is currently exposed to constantly increasing pressures. Environmental problems are on the increase in developing as well as in developed countries. In developing countries, ecological stress strikes large and vulnerable population groups, and hinders social and economic development in many areas.
In 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Development, in their report "Our Common Future", described the problems we are facing and the measures which must be taken to solve them.
Environmental problems in the developing countries make demands on Norwegian development aid. Four Norwegian White Papers Nos. 36 (1984-85),34 (1986-87) and 51 (1991-92) on major questions concerning Norwegian aid to developing countries, and White Paper no. 46 (198889), on Norway's follow-up of the recommendations of the World Commission, have stressed the importance of taking environmental issues into account in Norwegian-assisted development aid projects. In 1990 this was further articulated in the NORAD strategy document "NORAD in the nineties". In the NORAD strategy document Part 11, "Strategies for bilateral aid" (1992), it is determined that all ongoing and planned development aid projects must be assessed with regard to environmental impacts.
This booklet has been compiled to help desk officers and planners to consider at an early stage in the planning process the environmental impacts of transport projects.
It is one of a series of booklets presenting guidelines for environmental impact assessment (EIA) of various types of development aid projects. Experience and ideas from corresponding material compiled by other countries (e.g. OECD, the World Bank) have been integrated into this EIA-system will tend to lean towards potential negative impacts.
The EIA-system affords no easy solutions to weighing positive and negative aspects against one another in a decision-making process. This is because there are seldom clear objective criteria or threshold values for which environmental effects are acceptable or not.
This booklet provides a survey of required information as well as questions that need to be answered in an initial assessment of projects and activities connected to transport.
To offer a brief overview of the subject, Part I describes what this project category normally comprises, and which environmental impacts in particular can be expected. This section stresses an account of the special problems often faced by transport in developing countries and tropical areas.
Part II offers a more specific account of the kind of information that ought to be available as well as questions that should be answered in an initial assessment of projects within transport.