Critical Evaluation Of The Role Of GIS In The EIA Decision Making Process Assignment Sample

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Introduction Of A Critical Evaluation Of The Role Of GIS In The EIA Decision Making Process Assignment

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This study penetrates an impactful role of GIS“Geographical Information System” that has an ability to store, analyze, integrate and visualize socioeconomic spatial attributes and environmental data. It defines that those increasing attributes are being applied to the EIA“Environmental Impact Assessment”. In addition, a significant role and potential of digital technology have been successfully evaluated in this study to know its potential for the environment. EIA is considered a special attribute for effective environmental decision making and there is an involvement of stakeholders and their effectiveness has been successfully introduced in this study. This study helps to define critical areas of the environmental decisions making process that increase sustainability in the UK. EIA is the tool that helps major authorities to make critical decisions for project approvals. Though there are some positive and negative sites present in this decision-making process which have been critically issued in this study. 

Main Body

1 Role and Potential of Digital Technologies Within EIA

According to Glasson and Therivel, (2013), it can be difficult to establish development stages and dimensions of the environmental projects, especially for new technological projects. Digitalization has changed the face of society and business. The rapid growth of technology and AI applications has also created disruptive consequences in the environment. Those disruptive technologies have enhanced and replaced many conventional approaches to construction and design. One of the existing realms for this technology is Environmental Management and EIA. In the present situation, the availability of APT“Accurate Predictive Tools” is limited in EIA. While water and air pollution noise and dispersion propagation models are established - there might be an experience in benchmarking those predictions with accurate observations after the construction. In this aspect, the reliability of “Conventional Predictive Techniques and Tools” is untested (Tessnow and Vadrot, 2020). It has been analyzed that, these issues are usually profound in the disciplines with numerical modelling and that is less applicable to ecological, social or visual impact assessments.

There is a major scope for digital assistance in environmental projects. Photogrammetry visualizations and drone technology can be combined in order to demonstrate the progression of projects “On the Ground”. In this aspect, most of the citizens of the UK may become environmental managers after feeding those data on air pollution, constriction noise and vehicle movements for developers (Morrison, 2019). The operators of equipment may be fed the data of live performance. At this time, the practice of tune management can be defined on a real-time basis that reflects the improvement of environmental protection. With the help of this digitalization, there might be a huge infrastructure development that can be visualized in the environment of the UK in the upcoming 25 years. This can also help to protect the environment and increase the opportunities to adapt and develop new kinds of approaches for environmental management, protection and environmental assessment (MacKinnon et al. 2018). In this aspect, environmental, M&E, structural and civil engineers are getting recruited for this environmental project in the UK.

2 Implication of Stakeholder Integration and Engagement with Development and Decision Making

The preservation of ecological balance and a healthy environment is a major concern for everyone. In order to promote the awareness of a sustainable environment among citizens, the role of stakeholders is magnificent. The stakeholders are the government, corporations, environmental groups, the media and the public. It is a very common practice of involving stakeholders in the critical decision-making process. Their decisions are most effective in environmental project design, evaluation and implantation (Dagiliute and Juozapaitiene, 2018). The engagement and integration of stakeholders can complete the purpose of ESIA - “Environmental and Social Impact Assessment”. It has been also analyzed that the engagement of stakeholders can help to enhance the accountability, efficacy and efficiency of the ESIA project and process. It also depicts a transparent view of balanced strengths and conflicts with an act of ownership (Omenge et al. 2019). This helps to increase the sustainability of the environmental project. Some identified benefits of stakeholder engagement in this EIA process are:

  1. Stakeholders can offer information and knowledge about environmental conditions and issues, b) they can devise some creative solutions that are not being considered by the implementing entity, c) social conflicts and problems can be avoided if stakeholders consulted on that issue, d) project consultation can be increased with immediate and effective plans and programmers, e) stakeholders can raise the awareness of the major environmental projects.

Apart from all of these, the engagement of stakeholders can help in effective decision making:

  1. Stakeholders help to disseminate and educate information on the environmental issues, b) improve and increase trust among involved parties, c) they empower the civil society for being a responsible person to take necessary actions, d) stakeholders also helps to ensure the sustainable use of environmental resources, and finally e) they lead to improve the cost-effectiveness and that may contribute to the sustainable development.

In addition, the “Stakeholder Theory of Decision-Making Process” can help in this aspect to find a purpose of EIA. According to this theory, stakeholders represent new dimensions and new ways to develop and increase the sustainability of the environment. This theory of engagement can provide an ultimate basis for transparency and accountability in EIA projects (Jones et al. 2018). The EIA practitioners are the main stakeholders in this aspect and they provide the knowledge of improving the quality of EIA. Furthermore, these practitioners have access to a wide range of opinions and perspectives.

3 Ongoing Management Impacts and Digital Ethics

Impact management is considered the creation of multiple series that has a protocol and plans to manage and aim to monitor and identify the risks and mitigate those risks to secure the project for a lifetime. Though there are some natural disaster and technological failure that sometimes occurs (Swanepoel et al. 2019). EIA ensures some potential problems that are basically addressed and foreseen at the early stage in the design and planning of the project. The creation of the EIA system is very vital in order to conform to “Socio-economic” development projects for environmental safety and also ensures the potential of sustainable development. For example, if these projects can take place in close proximity to a community, then a resettlement plan is also required. In this case, if there is no community close to this then there is no necessity for a resettlement plan (Shammi et al. 2022). On the other hand, management impact begins during the phase of project planning and continues after the project gets implemented.

The analysis of creation and impacts of mitigation help to measure and identify the number of changes that are happening in the project, implementation, design and closure. In addition, the cation plans are also carried out the risks and help to monitor those areas that are required. These are the critical plans and these plans are usually required if there is a requirement in the project. If there is any risk and impacts are identified that are associated with the project may take considered in a social and natural context where most of the project activities take place (Bond et al. 2020). Ongoing management comes from the EMP - “Environmental Management Plan”. There are some typical elements are present in this aspect which are:

Mitigation Measures: This is the summary of all mitigation and represents the measures that are linked to those impact analyses.

Monitoring: This is the plan for monitoring effectiveness and environmental impacts where mitigation measures can be addressed with major impacts.

Capacity Development: Capacity building is always required to include stakeholders for managing social and environmental impacts and monitoring their effects.

Implementation Cost Estimate and Schedule: Outlined costs mitigation activities, monitoring, the capacity building including implementation costs and after that ongoing monitoring can follow up on the development costs (Simmonds et al. 2020).

Integration of EMP: EMP is required to develop because that can help to find a critical way that fir with planned projects and help to mitigate actions that are linked with other projects.

All of these are considered critical digital ethics that help to know the impact of major initiatives and also help to identify, avoid, and minimize those negative impacts (Floridi, 2018). In addition, these ethics is like an approach for design and building ethical protections in the early stages of service and product development.

4 Role of GIS at the Different Decision Stages in the EIA Process

GIS - “Geographical Information System” is the set of new computerized tools that includes software and hardware for collecting displaying, transforming, and retrieving spatial data. There are different kinds of decision stages available in the EIA process and there is a significant impact of GIS on each stage.

In the identification, stage GIS brings the entire EIA process in a new elementary way in order to manipulate and analyze spatial objects, which can improve the communication ways for the best result and analysis (Saleh et al. 2020). This can be the most important part because the “Public Participation Process” is included in this.

Scoping and Screening are the preliminary stages of EIA. There is a significant role of GIS in these stages. GIS helps to gather data, impact assessment, impact magnitude calculations and spatial modelling. Furthermore, these are also utilized for major descriptions of environmental projects where GIS is able to help in a geographical context.

Another stage of the EIA process is the alternatives where scoping is the only procedure to know the major environmental issues. GIS provide intractable options that generally help to identify different attributes during the feasibility, pre-feasibility and scoping phase in EIA (Mara? and Can?berk, 2021). The arise of incremental alternatives during this assessment process can help to address major negative impacts which have been previously identified.

GIS has also a major impact on the next stage of the EIA process which is Impact Prediction in this stage GIS brings the entire EIA process in a new and suggestive way for manipulating and analyzing spatial objectives. This can help to increase and enhance communication results that are necessary for analysis. This is a great “Public Participation Process”.

Mitigation is the next stage of the EIA process and the role of GIS in this stage is magnificent. In order to ensure mitigation and EIA is receptive, this GIS provides a decisive apparatus. this defines that, GIS not only improves the overall mitigation process and EIA process but also provides some valuable and most impactful mapping strategies (Nelson et al. 2021). This also includes the “Environmental System Approach”.

GIS also helps in the “Spatial Database Management Program” where it serves as a tool for EA audits and monitoring. Here the main functions of GIS data display, entry, information analysis and retrieval work most for managing the entire EIA database.

5 Pros / Cons of Using GIS in Different Decision Stages of the EIA Process

According to González, (2012), GIS is rapidly increasing that supports spatial planning which is engaged with the EIA process. GIS brings the entire EIA process in a new way in terms of manipulating and analyzing spatial objects. The technological factors help to define every criterion of the EIA process. Though there are a few circumstances are also arrived in this aspect. The main benefits of GIS that are most useful in the EIA process are:

GIS process has the ability to improve organizational integration including scoping and integration. GIS can integrate the software and hardware in order to manage, analyze, capture and display all visual forms that are geographically referenced. On the other hand, GIS also allow visualizing, understanding, questioning and viewing data into numbers in a different way to reveal the patterns, trends and relationships through reports, charts, maps and globes (Ewurum et al. 2020). There are many contradictions and conflicts are also arisen in the EIA process and GIS helps to remove and reduce those conflicts. It also increases the number of employment opportunities in the environment project that increase the project sustainability in every aspect.

Apart from these advantages, there are a few cons have been identified of using this GIS in the EIA process.

GIS technology is very expensive for the EIA process and it requires enormous data to put in. Without gathering bulk data this technology can be used in the EIA process. There might be a geographical error on a larger scale as the earth is round and there might be major sequential conflicts arising in this aspect which is not good for the EIA process. The layers of GIS might lead to some major and costly mistakes due to improper design (Josimovi? et al. 2021). In addition, another issue can be faced in this GIS technology and that is the chance of failure projects after implementing additional efforts. In order to get large benefits, this tool is used but there is a major chance of project failure.

6 Critical Reflection

After discussing and analyzing the above areas my knowledge expands on the critical issues of GIS in the EIA processes. One of the major issues is that the GIS tools are very expensive and for the environmental project it creates many difficulties. The process of analysis may occur in this problem because GIS is the only tool that can be used for the EIA process but due to high expense, many projects fail as they are unable to authorize. I also understand that the learning curves on this GIS software might belong which is another issue of using this tool. This creates many problems in the baseline and alternative process of EIA.

I personally analyzed that for environmental projects most effective tools need to be used which need to be cost-effective also but the GIS system is not fit those criteria. This is the main disadvantage of this tool. In addition, GIS visualize spatial relationship but it does not provide any solutions which create many conflicts in environmental projects. This creates a major contradictory situation in that environmental project. Integrating with the traditional map is also very difficult which is another issue and I think this does not provide accurate results. Along with these, there is another issue is present which I think is a critical issue of GIS in the EIA process and that is inefficient storage and it also required a high-end process to run.


In the end, it can be stated that the efficiency of GIS in the EIA process has a great hand but there are some issues that have also arisen in this aspect. The digitalization process has enhanced the efficiency of environmental projects and GIS is one of the technological tools that is specially used in environmental projects for increasing and maintaining sustainability. Implementation and engagement of stakeholders provide major benefits to the EIA also. Different stages of EIA have some different attributes and the GIS tool is used in those stages for increasing environmental project sustainability. There are some areas that are still available which are needed to be improved in the GIS tool as it is very expensive and sometimes does not provide an effective solution. Solving these problems can be a great implementation in the EIA process.


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