Table of Contents

Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment

Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment

Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series

Edited by Davide Geneletti

This Handbook presents state-of-the-art methodological guidance and discussion of international practice related to the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment, featuring contributions from leading researchers and practitioners the world over. Its multidisciplinary approach covers contributions across five continents to broaden the scope of the field both thematically and geographically.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Davide Geneletti

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics, management natural resources


Impact assessment is the ‘the process of identifying the future consequences of a current or proposed action’ (IAIA, 2009). At its heart, impact assessment aims to provide information for decision-making. Biodiversity underpins the delivery of ecosystem services that are fundamental for our well-being. Integrative impact frameworks are being proposed to include the effects of development on ecosystem services and human well-being, along with more traditional biodiversity conservation issues. Recent research and practice has shown the emerging interest in this area, but also the many open challenges. This Handbook addresses the consideration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment by providing a critical analysis of some of the latest research and practice in this field. The book was written to support researchers and practitioners in the conceptual development, and operational implementation of truly biodiversity and ecosystem services–inclusive impact assessment processes. As part of the Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series, the book provides a critical assessment of the research and thinking in this field, emerging from different parts of the world. The case studies presented in the chapters span the five continents, and a broad range of sectors and biomes. The Handbook is divided into four parts. Part I looks at how biodiversity and ecosystem services information can be mainstreamed in different impact assessment types to improve their salience and effectiveness. Part II presents a range of applications in key policy and planning sectors. Part III addresses selected issues and challenges in contemporary practice and research. Part IV summarizes the key messages and provides indications on the way forward.