Resource EIA

Strategic Review of an Operationalised Protective Good "Natural Resources" within the Framework of the Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Project no.2327
  • Duration 11/2012 - 11/2014

In order to increase resource efficiency, the federal government's resource protection strategy assesses the need to embody - in addition to economic, informative and technological approaches - also resource protection in the national law, especially in terms of authorization procedures. Implementing resource protection, following the broad definition of resources by the German Federal Environmental Agency and the European Commission, raises new challenges for environmental impact assessments. The current definition of areas to be investigated and impacts to be assessed in order to evaluate a proposition is not yet fully able to take into account aspects of resource protection.

For this reason this research project aims at including resource protection into the subject matters of the Environmental Impact Assessment. On this basis it is to be clarified in which way resource protection can be further strengthened in the according law and how this proposition can be approached methodically. The study then goes on to examine case examples illustrating to which extent aspects of resource protection are momentarily considered concerning the relevant protective goods, and which aspects might not be covered yet from the perspective of a broad definition of resources.

The primary focus is on

  • non-renewable raw materials and the related ecological backpacks and
  • renewable biomass and the related ecological backpacks as well as land use in the course of their production.

Building on this, methodical approaches will be analysed and developed which are able to determine and evaluate environmental impacts and to expand the present spectrum of methods of the Environmental Impact Assessment with regard to its detected deficits. Identified indicators and parameters will then suggest a manageable testing methodology to help determine and evaluate environmental impacts relating to natural resources in EIA procedures.