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Title: Determining Vulnerability Importance in Environmental Impact Assessment

The concept of vulnerability has been used to describe the susceptibility of physical, biotic, and social systems to harm or hazard. In this sense, it is a tool that reduces the uncertainties of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) since it does not depend exclusively on the value assessments of the evaluator, but rather is based on the environmental state indicators of the site where the projects or activities are being carried out. The concept of vulnerability thus reduces the possibility that evaluators will subjectively interpret results, and be influenced by outside interests and pressures during projects. However, up until now, EIA has been hindered by a lack of effective methods. This research study analyzes the concept of vulnerability, defines Vulnerability Importance and proposes its inclusion in qualitative EIA methodology. The method used to quantify Vulnerability Importance is based on a set of environmental factors and indicators that provide a comprehensive overview of the environmental state. The results obtained in Colombia highlight the usefulness and objectivity of this method since there is a direct relation between this value and the environmental state of the departments analyzed. - Research Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The concept of vulnerability could be considered defining Vulnerability Importance included inmore » qualitative EIA methodology. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The use of the concept of environmental vulnerability could reduce the subjectivity of qualitative methods of EIA. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A method to quantify the Vulnerability Importance proposed provides a comprehensive overview of the environmental state. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Results in Colombia highlight the usefulness and objectivity of this method.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Institute of Environmental Studies, National University of Colombia, Bogota (Colombia)
  2. Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, National University of Colombia, Bogota (Colombia)
  3. Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Granada (Spain)
  4. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Granada (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2011 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States