Baseline Data Collection
Baseline information is important reference point for conducting EIA. The term "baseline" refers to the collection of background information on the biophysical, social and economic settings proposed project area. Normally, information is obtained from secondary sources when there exists a facility of database, or the acquisition of new information through field samplings. The task of collecting baseline data starts right from the period of project inception, however, a majority of this task may be undertaken during scoping.
Baseline data are collected for two main purposes:
It is often forgotten why the baseline information is collected, where to incorporate them and what level of understanding is required. Sometimes, it becomes too superficial, while in other cases it goes deeper, and it the end much of the investment on time and money are being wasted.
Collection of baseline data should be designed to satisfy information requirements and should be relevant to EIA analysis. Only baseline data needed to assist prediction of the impacts contained in the TOR should be collected.
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