Co-operation in the fields of Scientific and Technical Research (COST)
The European Union
has initiated a number of research programs including the European
Co-operation in the fields of Scientific and Technical Research (COST).
Transport forms a principle component of the programme. The associated Technical
Committee is made up of representatives of 32 national governments and
co-ordinates COST Actions. COST Action 341, “Habitat Fragmentation due to
Transport Infrastructure” is of direct relevance and compliments this Code. In
particular, it provides a greater level of detail at a technical level on
fragmentation (European Commission 2000).
Action 341 seeks to
address issues arising from transport-related schemes causing habitat
fragmentation including adverse effects on habitats and species as well as on
vehicular accidents. The outputs of the programme due for completion in 2003
- the production of
a European review of habitat fragmentation due to linear transport
- the production of
a European handbook of best practice providing solutions for dealing with the
fragmentation effect of existing and proposed linear transport;
- the establishment
of an online database of research and expertise in the subject to include
existing literature, projects, mitigation measures and databases across Europe.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has a road
transport research programme. This provides member countries with an opportunity
to contribute to the development of transport policies. Programmes encompass
activities relating to sustainable transport development. Publications include
the “Environmental Impact Assessment of Roads” (1994) and “Strategic
Environmental Assessment – the Transport Sector” (1998). The latter arose
from a European Conference of the Ministers of Transport.
work on transport includes the ‘Environmentally Sustainable Transport’
project. This involved partners from 25 countries and UNEP. The project resulted
in a series of guidelines, which received Ministerial endorsement. UNEP Regional
Office for Europe is continuing this work on Environmentally Sustainable
a national level, several governments and research institutions have co-ordinated
research programmes relating to the landscape and biological diversity
implications of transport schemes, some forming part of the COST 341 programme.
A number of technical manuals have been produced including Norway, Scotland,
England and Wales, Switzerland, Netherlands, France and Spain (Cur (1999),
Dinetti (2000), Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (1993)
Ministerio de Medio. Ambiente (2000) Muller and Berthoud (1999)). Mostly these
relate to highways but may have application to railways and navigable waterways.
Following the example set by COST Action 341; a comprehensive list of such
Pan-European documents should be compiled to enable their use by a wider
audience and encompassing languages.
previous section provided some illustrations of the extent of the existing
transport network together with an indication of planned proposals and noted the
major differences in requirements within the Pan-European region. This section
seeks to describe a number of principles common to the planning and design of
transport schemes. The first part considers the legal framework and methods of
and environmental impact assessment
of Practice Pointers
For all infrastructure developments governments and/ or their agencies must
apply strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and the more detailed
environmental impact assessment (EIA). This should enable informed, sound
decision making on the selection of modal choice, route corridors and subsequent
fuller assessment of the effects of proposed schemes together with alternatives.
Financial institutions/donors must require an EIA of transport projects that
they propose to sponsor, and consider SEA carried out previously.
impact assessment (EIA) has been variously defined and comprises a method and
process whereby information about the environmental effects of a scheme is
collected, assessed and used to inform decision-making. As such it should be a
continuous process related to the various stages of scheme design and
implementation. The application to strategic plans and policies is known as
‘strategic environmental assessment’ (SEA).
formal application of EIA was first required in the United States in 1969, under
the National Environmental Policy Act, since when it has been made a legal
requirement in a number of other states world wide including the European Union.
A draft European Directive has been prepared on SEA.