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Landscape Degradation Modelling: An Environmental Impact Assessment for Rural Landscape Prioritisation

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  • Forood Azari Dehkordi

Abstract

Landscape Degradation Assessment (LDA) of rural areas can play a crucial role in landscape planning. Japan lacks quantitative and cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) methodologies, especially in the area of LDA. Although a decision support system is in place for very large projects (Class-1) in Japan, EIAs for much smaller projects are non-existent, which often results in ambiguity with regard to environmental problems. To improve the transparency of the decision-making process for rural landscape planning, increase the scale of the assessment of project size to a more strategic local level, and enhance effective communication with decision-makers, a new EIA procedure is proposed with the development of a Landscape Degradation Model (LDM) for rural areas in Japan. The procedure is based on the equation, L D =Σ kI/V, where L D represents the degradation coefficient of the landscape compartments, Σ kI represents the cumulative impact of human activities, and V quantifies the vulnerability of a habitat. The value of L D provides a means for supporting decisions aimed at the quantitative prioritisation of working units and developing respective conservation plans. This methodology is a holistic approach to rural landscape reclamation decision support systems where these LDM findings are geared toward sustainability appraisal and where integrated assessment of the economics of a proposal is recommende d .

Suggested Citation

  • Forood Azari Dehkordi, 2012. "Landscape Degradation Modelling: An Environmental Impact Assessment for Rural Landscape Prioritisation," Landscape Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 613-634, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:clarxx:v:37:y:2012:i:5:p:613-634
    DOI: 10.1080/01426397.2011.647894
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