The Role Of Geoinformatics Technology In Environmental Impact Assessment (Eia) Of Highway Construction On Forest Cover

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The Role Of Geoinformatics Technology In Environmental Impact Assessment (Eia) Of Highway Construction On Forest Cover

INTRODUCTION
What is EIA?
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) can be defined as the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating biophysical, hydrological, noise, ecological, meteorological, economical, social and other relevant effects prior to development, then using conclusions as a tool planning and decision-making.
(EIA) can also be defined as an assessment of the possible impacts (including both positive and negative) that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the environment (natural), social and economic aspects. EIA in Kenya fall under NEAP (GoK 1994) and the National Policy on environment which emphasize the of environmental impact assessment (EIA) to be carried on or conducted on development projects.
The purpose of EIA is to ensure that decision makers consider the ensuing environmental impacts when deciding whether to proceeds with the project. EIA require the decision makers to account for environmental values in their decisions and to justify those decisions in light of detailed environmental studies and public comments on the potential environmental impacts of the proposal.

Steps of EIA
 Screening: process of determining whether an EIA is required for a specific project.
 Scoping: identifying the impacts that are likely to be important.
 Examination of alternatives: process of determining the environmentally most desired policy option.
 Impact analysis: process of identifying and predicting the effects of the proposal.
 Mitigation and impact management: process to establish measures (or mechanisms) to minimize negative effects.
 Evaluation of significance: process of evaluation if the impacts that cannot be mitigated are acceptable as compared to the benefits stemming from the proposal.
 Environmental impact statement (EIS) report.
 Review of the EIS: process of assessing the quality of the report.
 Decision making: approving or rejecting the proposal (although arguably not occurring within the EIA process).
 Follow up: process of monitoring impacts and effectiveness of mitigation measures as well as reflecting on the EIA to strengthen future applications.

What is GIS?
According to (Hossein et al, 2004), GIS is a set of computerized tool (including both software and hardware) for collecting, storing, retrieving, transforming and displaying spatial data.
Geographic information system (GIS) can also be defined as an information system that is used to input, store, retrieve, manipulate and output geographically referenced data or geospatial data, in order to support decision making for planning and management of land use, natural resource, environment, transportation, urban facilities, health service so on.
GIS is a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating and displaying geographically referenced information to their locations. GIS technology have been used for scientific investigations, community education and resourc.............


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