Biodiversity Impact Assessment
Biodiversity Impact Assessment allows addressing biodiversity in life cycle analysis. Processes which require the use of a certain area influence the biodiversity of that area (and possibly the surrounding area). This impact can be described quantitatively by Biodiversity Impact Assessment. The method fits into the framework laid out in international harmonisation processes (UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative).
Input data for calculating the impact on biodiversity of a certain process are:
- operating parameters such as the application of fertilizers and pesticides,
- structural parameters such as field size and species variety and
- context parameters regarding the landscape surrounding the land use area.
For each process five to ten parameters are ascertained to calculate the biodiversity value of the required or influenced area supported by a regionally specific mathematical model. This value then is compared with a regionally specific reference value to determine the impact of the land use process on biodiversity.
For LCA experts: The biodiversity of a given surface element is calculated and used as the quality input in the land use framework set forth by the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. A reference value for the biodiversity of the surface element is generated. The difference between the biodiversity values of reference state and assessed state is multiplied with the size of the surface element and the duration of occupation, yielding the impact of the land use process according to the land use framework.