Baseline data: when, why and how?

Baseline data is collected to serve two purposes in the EIA study. First, it helps us understand the current conditions of the area, andhow the project needs to be implemented considering these conditions. Second, and most importantly, it helps us assess and predict the possible environmental changes that could occur, once the project is underway.

Baseline data is the data collected about various factors of the project study. This includes-

  • Physical- the area, the soil properties, the geological characteristics, the topography, watershed properties, etc.
  • Chemical- water, air, noise and soil pollution levels, etc.
  • Biological- the biodiversity of the area, types of flora and fauna, species richness, species distribution, types of ecosystems, presence or absence of endangered species and/or sensitive ecosystems etc.
  • Socioeconomic- demography, social structure, economic conditions, developmental capabilities, displacement of locals, etc.
  • Cultural- location and state of archaeological and/or religious sites.

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