Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment
Show Less

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details

Chapter 7: Addressing biodiversity and ecosystem services in Life Cycle Assessment

Assumpció Antón, Danielle Maia de Souza, Félix Teillard and Llorenç Milà i Canals

Abstract

The aim of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology is to provide a quantification of the potential environmental impacts of goods and processes for the cycle of production from ‘cradle to grave’. Eventually impacts may be translated into damage to three defined Areas of Protection (AoP): human health, natural environment and resources. Ecosystem services and biodiversity loss have been proposed as suitable endpoints to quantify damage in the AoP of natural environment. Both are complex subjects that are difficult to measure with simple indicators due to the different nature of damages involved as well as region specificities. The comprehensive scope of LCA requires a simplification of such complex mechanisms in order to evaluate impacts occurring all along the life cycle in diverse locations, hindering the definition of an ideal indicator. Significant data requirements with global coverage and yet allowing for spatial dependency results in substantive challenges for the scientific community. In the first section of this chapter, after a brief introduction to LCA, the environmental mechanisms affecting biodiversity and ecosystems services and their quantitative link to damages to the natural environment are presented. The second section introduces the state of the art of the different impact indicator proposals addressing biodiversity loss and change in ecosystem services in the frame of LCA. The review focuses on the effects of land use and land use change as one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss. The last section addresses the main challenges in the quest for good and harmonized indicators, such as data availability; selection of a suitable reference state; spatial differentiation; different biodiversity levels of organization (genes, species and ecosystems); biogeographical area coverage; and scales of assessment and non-linear damage relationships.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.