You are here: Home > Orientation Hall >
VII > Monitoring data
E. Monitoring of Data
Modality of monitoring
Quality of data
Monitoring information for policy planning
Environmental monitoring is a most important and integral component of EA
project cycle. Environmental monitoring program collect data on environmental
indicators. Environmental indicators must be measurable and standardized. It
provides valuable feedback information on actual environmental impacts of a
project, which is useful on more effective planning for environmental
conservation and management of project at program, plan to policy level.
Monitoring involves systematic collection database to determine:
- It will help to verify level of success on environmental sustenance
of a project as a result of adoption of an EIA practice.
- It evaluates accuracy of impact prediction and increase predictive
capability of EAs.
- It determines effectiveness on implementation success of prescribed
mitigation and enhancement measures.
- It has been stressed that a link has to be established between human
activities and their effects on the environment, as most impact are
- Actual environmental effects from the implementation of a
- Compliance on environmental status of project area as per set
- Information generated by monitoring programs provides the feedback
necessary to ensure that environment conservation measures have been
effective in relation to achieve the objective environmentally and
socio-economically sustainable development at local and community level.
Modality of monitoring:
The modality of environmental monitoring constitutes;
- Collection of specific database from specified area.
- Design sampling methodology
- Provision of necessary survey equipments, computer soft wares.
- Modern equipment/laboratory facility.
- Provision of skilled, trained manpower.
- Delegation of institutional responsibility.
- Reporting requirements/ schedule.
- Implementation and enforcement mechanism.
- Provision of reliable funds.
Environmental monitoring program involves collection of data from scientific and
systematic approach, analysis of data using statistical methods, remote
sensing/GIS and computer aided decision support systems, etc. An environmental
monitoring program basically constitutes following components:
- Laboratory analysis/Instrument observation
- Field observation
- Stakeholders consultation involving:
- Governmental organizations
- Non governmental Organizations
- Civil society/Villagers
- Business companies
- Research organizations
Quality of data
Quality of environmental database in an EA/ Initial Environmental Examination (IEE)
holds fundamental importance in making impact prediction, decision making and
monitoring. Quality means a balance between costs and benefits. Quality aspect
can be dealt under following subheadings:
Contents: Relevance of database directly relate with type of
project and choice of variables. The data should be collected scientifically and
be compatible for comparison with other data sources.
Time: Data come in different time frame such as; daily, weekly,
monthly, quarterly, yearly. It depends upon objective, duration, fund resource
of a research projects. Time series data are useful for comparison.
Reliability: Overall reliability of data is difficult to
ascertain. The adoption of latest internationally accepted methodology along
with suitable equipment, reagents, clear description of investigated sample
area, use of scientific and systematic approach, and adoption of well
established statistical methods for data analysis will enhance reliability of
database. Authenticity of database is cross checked during monitoring.
Availability: The value and use of data lie on its easy retrieval
for wider use and comparison. Hence the database should be in user friendly
versions and formats.
Monitoring information for policy planning:
An environmental monitoring may be baseline monitoring or compliance monitoring.
Many environmental problems are economic problems as well having social
connections. Hence monitoring involves multidisciplinary aspects from technical
to semi and non technical issues. Aside a few technocrats, most bureaucrats are
of non-technical background. This demands simplicity of environmental
information to be easily digested by even non-technical policy planners to lay
persons of civic society, key stakeholder at field level.
Environmental information is a composite of physical, biological and
socio-economic aspects comprising technical ones such as data on water quality.
Scientific data is relatively difficult to generate as compared to
socio-economic data. Local people can help in monitoring of local area, as
they are well acquainted with the area. Monitoring of information for policy
planning can have different source such as:
- National environmental databank
- Governmental offices/research laboratory, research centres
- Private sector expert/institution
- Unpublished data from laboratory of industrial companies
- Published data journals/ collected by national/intíl scientists
- Data collected by local community members
For effective monitoring of information for policy planning, there should be
integration of physical, biological and economic information from national
environmental database. Adequacy of available environmental information for
utilization at strategic level: policy, plan and programs, should be evaluated
and periodically updated.
Some examples of environmental monitoring: