The potential of conservation technology for biodiversity in Strategic Environmental Assessment

University essay from KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract: Biodiversity loss is a pressing global problem and land use is known for being one of the most direct contributors. In European Union countries, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required for land use plans that set a strategic framework for future development such as regional land use plans. Biodiversity would be very feasible to address in the SEA as it has the capacity to include the complexity biodiversity poses. Technology is increasingly being used for biodiversity conservation as it allows effective collection and processing of data. This research aimed to assess current SEA practices of addressing biodiversity and explore possibilities of how conservation technology could be used to assist SEA in addressing biodiversity loss more effectively in the field of land use planning. To fulfil the research aim, a document analysis of six regional land use plans and their SEA reports and four semi- structured interviews with an AI-company Spoor AI staff were conducted. The results of the document analysis showed that biodiversity is typically addressed in qualitative terms while an effective assessment would also require quantifying biodiversity variables. The results of the semi-structured interviews indicated that previous experience from the wind power sector has shown that conservation technology could be taken advantage of in collecting data about biodiversity cost-effectively and reliably, while AI can be used to analyse that data. Conservation technology could be taken advantage of in SEA by deepening the understanding of the development context, supporting the decision-making and monitoring. Implementing conservation technology in SEA could encourage the use of the strategic thinking SEA -model and contribute to several theoretical principles that guide the SEA practice. 

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)