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Iso. Vegetation. Reforestation. Table 1 (II) Compensation measures for road projects as described in the reviewed ... Ley 7/2007, de Gestión Integrada de la Calidad ... Aragón. http://www.boe.es/ccaa/boa/2006/081/d09819-09854.pdf (21/02/2008). ...... 2,73. 3,41. 0,69. Latasa. 1. 1,98. 2,53. 0,55. Leitza. 3. 27,64. 30,38. 2,74.

Facultad de Ciencias

ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN SPAIN: CURRENT PRACTICE AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT

Ana Villarroya Ballarín

Facultad de Ciencias

ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN SPAIN: CURRENT PRACTICE AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT

by Ana Villarroya Ballarín Graduate in Biology, University of Navarra, Spain

Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD degree - Biology

The present work has been developed under my supervision in the Department of Zoology and Ecology of the University of Navarra, and I authorize its presentation to the Committee in charge of its evaluation.

Pamplona, June 2012

Dr. Jordi Puig i Baguer

“We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and oil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft.” US Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson (1965, after the first pictures of the planet from outer space were published)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Durante una tesis se aprenden muchas cosas, pero no son necesariamente los libros o los artículos los que más enseñan. En mi caso he tenido la suerte de coincidir con muchas personas que me han ayudado a crecer, y a las que debo por ello todo mi agradecimiento. Intentaré nombrar aquí a todas, aunque de antemano pido disculpas si mi memoria no hace justicia como debiera. Gracias al Departamento de Zoología y Ecología de la Universidad de Navarra, no sólo por darme la oportunidad de hacer la tesis sino por haberme acogido desde el principio y por haber creado un ambiente en el que siempre me he sentido bien. Gracias especialmente a mi director, Jordi, por haberme dado siempre más de lo que esperaba, y por no haber tenido ningún reparo en “perder el tiempo” conmigo. Gracias a Mari, Javi Oscoz, Ana y María por vuestra alegría y humanidad. A Ángel y David por vuestra disponibilidad, incluso en el último minuto. A Luis Sanz por el material fotográfico. A los compañeros de tesis por los buenos ratos compartidos. A Arturo por inventarse horas para dedicarlas a los demás. A Enrique y Rafa por el entusiasmo transmitido. A Fernando por su compañía y apoyo todoterreno. A Eva por dar el brazo entero cuando se le pide una mano. A todos los alumnos a los que he tenido la suerte de dar prácticas, porque fui yo quien más aprendió. A Enrique, Sheila y Melissa por los buenos momentos que siempre me hacéis pasar. Gracias a Elisa, Rubén, Diego, Asier, Iratxe, Ixai, Maite, David y los demás, porque esta tesis os debe más de lo que creéis. Y yo también. Gracias a María Iraburu, Miriam Latorre y quienes nos apoyaron desde el principio con el grupo de Voluntarios Ambientales, y a los integrantes del mismo, puesto que este proyecto ha sido un reto apasionante. Gracias a Alicia Ederra, por su confianza y sus enseñanzas valiosísimas mis años de alumna interna en Botánica, y por seguir estando ahí todo este tiempo. A Ricardo Ibáñez por su interés, apoyo y simpatía, y por los repasos de botánica recorriendo el Camino de Santiago. A Ricardo Marco por sus consejos y orientaciones con ArcGIS. A Jesper (y familia) por su acogida en la SLU, y por su hospitalidad durante las estancias en Suecia. Tack så mycket. A mis amigos que me han apoyado aún sin una explicación en condiciones de a qué dedicaba mi tiempo, especialmente a Fátima, Bea, Sara, Patri, Sandra y Ángel. A Adri y Clara por hacer de la distancia una mera anécdota. A Míriam por su cariño sincero y por su ejemplo de cómo no rendirse nunca. A Pedro por ponerme siempre una sonrisa en la boca. A Peibol por las largas conversaciones. Mi mayor agradecimiento para mi familia, para los que están y para los que ya marcharon. A Pilar por su vitalidad contagiosa, a mi yaya Presen y a mi tío Celso por su apoyo tranquilo. Gracias a mi familia más reciente, Jose, Aurora, Amaia y el Aitona, porque desde el primer momento me hicisteis sentir en casa. Gracias a mi hermana por su cariño incondicional, y a Leandro por su ejemplo inspirador. Gracias

especialmente a mis padres por su infinita paciencia, y porque sin ellos nada de nada hubiera podido ser. Y por supuesto a Javi. Por todo. Esta tesis se realizó gracias a una beca predoctoral del Departamento de Ciencia, Tecnología y Universidades del Gobierno de Aragón.

INDEX Summary ................................................................................................................................................................................1 Introduction..........................................................................................................................................................................3 Objectives and Structure........................................................................................................................................... 11 First part............................................................................................................................................................................... 13 On the role of ecological compensation in Spanish EIA processes and the obstacles it faces

Chapter I......................................................................................................................................................................... 17 An overview of ecological compensation in Spain

Chapter II........................................................................................................................................................................ 37 On how difficult it is to identify some of the ecological impacts to be compensated

Chapter III....................................................................................................................................................................... 69 The accepted loss of ecological quality

Second Part ....................................................................................................................................................................... 87 Some proposals to promote ecological compensation within Spanish EIA

Chapter IV...................................................................................................................................................................... 91 A method for the ecological valuation of the natural environment and the residual impacts on it

Chapter V.................................................................................................................................................................... 115 On the importance of highlighting ecological residual impacts

Chapter VI................................................................................................................................................................... 139 On the selection of ecological offsets in EIA

Discussion........................................................................................................................................................................ 167 General conclusions................................................................................................................................................... 175 References....................................................................................................................................................................... 179

SUMMARY Environmental

Impact

Assessment

(EIA)

aims

at

improving

the

environmental sustainability of those projects with significant effects on the environment. During this procedure, environmental impacts caused by an EIA regulated activity are identified and analyzed, and proposals are advanced to counter them. When the sustainability goal is set in avoiding net losses in environmental quality by a project implementation, compensatory measures have a crucial role to play, as they are the only way to counter residual impacts, those that remain after all impact avoidance and minimization measures have been implemented. But, what is the level of compensation implemented in EIA frameworks? This doctoral dissertation analyzes the case of ecological compensation in Spanish EIA and the difficulties that it faces, and advances some proposals to increase practice levels. The first section (chapters I, II, and III) focuses on how frequently ecological compensation is present in EIA procedures, mainly for roads and railways. It studies as well some of the potential difficulties that explain the low ecological compensation practice level found. Among the technical difficulties, the attention focuses in the difficulty of identifying and valuing all residual impacts possibly caused by any given project. Among the conceptual ones, the status-quo of a prevailing social mindset that accepts ecological quality losses as inevitable stands up. The second section (chapters IV, V, and VI) studies how ecological residual impacts are valued, registered and shown, as well as the existing guidelines on how to choose the specific measures to be implemented. As a response to the results of this study, several proposals to improve and foster ecological compensation practice in EIA in Spain are advanced.

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INTRODUCTION SUSTAINABILITY In 1987, the WCED1 (World Commission on Environment and Development) defined “sustainable development” as the development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987). Although this definition is the most frequently quoted in the specific literature (Beder, 2006), at present time there remains an on-going discussion on the meaning of this term (e.g. Mebratu, 1998; Norton, 2005; Fischer et al., 2007; Voinov & Farley, 2007). Such controversy may be related to the very nature of the concept ‘sustainability’, for this term is easily understood but putting it into practice becomes a harder task (e.g. Fenech et al., 2003), especially when trying to do so in a widely agreed way. On the one hand, translating the theoretical concept onto specific actions requires working at different scales in combination with each other (Kates, 2000; Kates et al., 2001), since it is necessary both to transform general objectives into specific ideas and to direct local actions towards the fulfilment of global goals. On the other hand, working on sustainability requires integrating different viewpoints, mainly regarding social, ecological and economic aspects (Gibson, 2001; Pope et al., 2004).

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a tool which seeks to improve the sustainability of projects which have significant negative effects on the environment, especially regarding social and ecological issues (IAIA & UK Institute of Environmental Assessment, 1999).

1

The WCED, also known as the ‘Brundtland Commission’, was constituted in 1983 after a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly that pointed out the need of creating an independent organism to study and propose ways to face the main environmental and development problems in the world (United Nations, 1983). After publishing the Brundtland Report (‘Our Common Future’) in 1987, the Commission was officially dissolved. In 1988, the ‘Center for Our Common Future’ was created to take its place.

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Introduction

EIA may be defined as the procedure that identifies and evaluates the effects of certain development projects on the physical and social environment (IAIA & UK Institute of Environmental Assessment, 1999; Wood, 2003; Jay et al., 2007). Its aim is to minimize the negative impact that a certain project may cause on the affected environment (Garmendia et al., 2005). Although its objective is not to stop development proposals, EIA can deny the authorization of projects which are expected to cause unacceptable harms on the environment. In other words, “effective EIA alters the nature of decisions or of the actions implemented to reduce their environmental disbenefits and render them more sustainable. If it fails to do this, EIA is a waste of time and money” (Wood, 2003). Since the passing of National Environmental Policy Act (United States Congress 1969), EIA has spread worldwide, even to numerous developing countries (Garmendia et al., 2005; Glasson et al., 2005; Jay et al., 2007). European Directive 2011/92/EU stipulates how and in which cases EIA has to be carried out in EU countries. This regulation has been transposed into Spanish regulation by the RDL 1/2008, which is complemented by the RD 1131/1988 and Law 6/2010 that specify the steps to follow during the EIA process (see Figure 1 and Box 1).

Environmental authority

Summary of the project

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Public Environmental authority

Environmental Impact Statement

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS

Public Record of Decision

Implementation and monitoring Figure 1. Summary of the steps to be followed when a project must undergo EIA in Spain.

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Introduction

Box 1. Summary of the EIA process in Spain When a project must undergo EIA, the developer must initiate the process by sending a summary of the project to the environmental authority. After that, and taking into account the results of the public consultation and the suggestions of the affected entities, the developer must prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This document gathers the specifications of the project, the different alternatives for it, the evaluation of the potential impacts and the measures proposed to counter them, and the elaboration of an Environmental Surveillance Plan to monitor the implementation of such measures (RDL 1/2008). This EIS is made public so that any person can look through it and suggest any changes. Depending on the EIS and on the results of the public participation process, the environmental authority prepares a Record of Decision (ROD) that summarizes the main aspects of the EIS and of the public participation process and concedes or denies the environmental authorization for the project. When the activity is carried out it must fulfil the environmental requirements as stated in the ROD. This fulfilment shall be checked during the monitoring stage.

The EIS is considered to be the central document of the whole EIA process, since it gathers all the information that is necessary to evaluate the potential damages to the environment and to propose the actions needed to counter them, which actually constitute the core of EIA. This thesis chose to approach sustainability from the viewpoint of EIA for two main reasons. First, because among the many different frameworks that should put this concept into practice, EIA has been for long implemented worldwide, and it is opportune to gauge what has been accomplished to date. In addition, because decision-making on environmentally adverse projects demands of itself especial efforts to minimize and counteract environmental losses.

AN OBJECTIVE FOR EIA: ‘NO NET LOSS’ OF ECOLOGICAL VALUE According to current Spanish legislation, three kinds of actions may be proposed within the EIS to integrate environmental issues into the development project: preventive, mitigative and compensatory measures (Directive 85/337/EEC; RDL 1/2008). This order responds to the so-called ‘mitigation sequence’ (also called ‘mitigation hierarchy’), which consists of three consecutive steps: avoid (measures to prevent impacts from happening), minimize what cannot be avoided (measures to mitigate the harm, ‘mitigation’ here understood as trying to restore the damaged -5-

Introduction

place to its former state), and offset/compensate what cannot be avoided nor minimized (measures to compensate for the impacts that cannot be avoided or reversed) (ten Kate et al., 2004; McKenney, 2005; Dolan et al., 2006; Escorcio Bezerra, 2007; Darbi et al., 2009; Moilanen et al., 2009). Theoretically, this mitigation sequence is proposed as a way to counteract the negative environmental impact of a development project, or even to achieve a net positive impact that improves the original state of the affected environment. These are the so-called ‘no net loss’ and ‘net gain’ objectives, respectively (Iuell et

al., 2003; ten Kate et al., 2004; McKenney, 2005; Gibbons & Lindenmayer, 2007; Moilanen et al., 2009; Rowe et al., 2009). However, the achievement of these goals in EIA practice is not automatically granted. The contrast between theoretical objectives and practical achievements in EIA spurs the need of studying how to apply better the concept of sustainability to actual decision-making processes. From a socioeconomic standpoint, these ‘no net loss’ and ‘net gain’ goals depart from the idea that keeping natural capital constant is key to achieve ecological, economic and social sustainability (Costanza & Daly, 1992; Aronson et

al., 2006). ‘Natural capital’ is an economic term for the stock of natural resources that provide different goods and services; what is broadly called ‘nature’ (Rees, 1995; Goodland & Daly, 1996; Aronson et al., 2007). For the last twenty years, natural capital is increasingly being considered as the limiting factor to human wellbeing and economic sustainability (Costanza & Daly, 1992; Goodland & Daly, 1996; Aronson et al., 2006; Farley & Daly, 2006). At the end, it is not to be forgotten that natural capital is what supports life (Prugh, 1995). At present time, there is no agreement upon which stock of natural capital would be enough to support human life. In fact, such measurement entails important difficulties (Azqueta & Sotelsek, 2007). The uncertainties on the reach and magnitude of the effects of human activities on the environment have always been there, but they grow more significant at present time as such activities are bigger and more complex than they were in the past (Beder, 2006). Given this uncertainty, and the dire consequences of guessing wrong, keeping natural capital intact comes up as a prudent minimum condition for achieving sustainability (Costanza & Daly, 1992; Prugh, 1995).

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Introduction

This thesis is not built from an economic standpoint, and for that reason ‘natural capital’ turns out a too-limited term to refer to the whole ecological richness, quality or value of an environment. Nevertheless, we have recalled here the reasoning behind the natural capital constancy principle for it is parallel to the argument that justifies the ‘no net ecological loss’ and ‘net ecological gain’ goals within EIA. Thus, what can be argued as an ethical or moral principle, i.e. the preservation or even enhancement of the ecological quality of the environment for future generations, meets the practical need of preserving natural resources and life quality in the short run, an utilitarian argument that seems more easily accepted within EIA contexts. From an ecologic, practical standpoint within EIA, it can be argued that the only way of avoiding a continuous loss of natural quality within a given region is to ensure that no net losses result from the implementation of each development project. Of the three steps of the mitigation sequence, compensation plays a key role to achieve ‘no net loss’ for it is the last option to counteract those impacts that can not be avoided or reversed, and which are associated to all projects subject to EIA: the residual impacts.

ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION IN EIA In general terms, compensating may be defined as the balancing of the effects of a certain action with the effects of another action, and/or as to give or make something to repair some damage previously caused (RAE, 2010). This balancing effect may be achieved through different means. A common option is monetary compensation, which seeks to repair the damage through the payment of a certain amount of money. This mechanism is commonly used within EIA to compensate for impacts on private properties or economic activities, for it is a direct solution. However, monetary compensation is not always a proper way to offset environmental impacts. Most often, these impacts demand some intervention on physical or biological elements in specific places to be compensated (nonmonetary compensation). And among all the different environmental impacts, this applies especially to ecological ones. Although the terms ‘environmental’ and ‘ecological’ may be employed as synonyms in some contexts, environmental and ecological compensation are not -7-

Introduction

always equivalent. In this thesis, ‘environmental compensation’ refers to offsets aimed to counter any damage caused on any element of the environment, either natural or human-made (such as buildings, artistic or cultural heritage, social assets…). ‘Ecological compensation’ is understood as those actions aimed to offset specifically natural assets; those elements that have not been created by humans, although they can be modified by us. Ecological compensation usually entails creation, restoration or enhancement of natural assets in order to replace the impaired ecological functions or values (Cuperus et al., 2001; Iuell et al., 2003). Ecological compensation is a tool to promote sustainability in a proactive way, by generating positive changes instead of simply minimising the negative (Pope

et al., 2004; McKenney, 2005; EPA, 2006; van Merwyk & Daddo, 2007; Weaver et al., 2008; BBOP, 2009). Comparably to what was previously described for the concept of sustainability, it is easy to understand the concept of compensation but its practice proves harder. This idea is recurrent when working on ecological compensation, and lays behind many of the questions this thesis deals with. Complementarily to practical problems, there is also some controversy and discussion on the role of ecological compensation within EIA. Main arguments questioning the reach and efficiency of compensatory measures recall the technical or ethical impossibility of replacing some natural values or elements (Katz, 2000; Morris et al., 2006), the difficulty of measuring natural damage and the offsets that would be necessary to counter it (Burgin, 2008), and the uncertainty on the success of the implemented measures (PENGO, 2002; Morris et al., 2006; Burgin, 2008). Other authors are concerned about the risk of using compensation to justify environmentally unacceptable projects (ten Kate et al., 2004; Rundcrantz, 2007) when the mitigation sequence is not properly applied, and compensation is proposed prior to avoidance or correction. Even though ecological compensation has some weaknesses (partly because it has been developed quite recently), it is for now the only tool that allows counteracting somehow the residual impacts that unavoidably cause our currently unstoppable development. As long as it is always used as a last-term resource for compensating residual impacts, and not as a way to justify poor environmental management (Damarad & Bekker, 2003; Escorcio Bezerra, 2007; Burgin, 2008), compensation should be promoted within EIA. Even if they do not provide optimal -8-

Introduction

results, attempting to establish ecological offsets is a better option than simply admitting ecological losses (Hayes & Morrison-Saunders, 2007). In addition to its ecological effects, the practice of compensation may send a message about the duty of respecting the environment where we live, and may reinforce the idea that we have the obligation of preserving and improving nature. In spite of the uncertainties and practical problems around it, ecological compensation is being increasingly included in environmental regulations from different places, such as the United States, Europe, Australia, Brazil or Canada (Rundcrantz & Skärbäck, 2003; ten Kate et al., 2004; McKenney, 2005; Hayes & Morrison-Saunders, 2007; Burgin, 2008; Darbi et al., 2009). The Spanish legislation establishes the duty to compensate for significant damages on areas that belong to the Natura 2000 network (Royal Decree 1997/1995, transposing European Directive 92/43/EEC). Only certain regional laws extend this duty to other spaces or natural features (see chapter I). This thesis studies non-monetary ecological compensation in the context of EIA in Spain. Different kinds of projects are regarded, but special attention is paid to transport infrastructures, mainly roads and motorways. These elements are present across all humanized landscapes, and their construction and use cause significant impacts on the environment (Forman & Alexander, 1998; Spellerberg, 1998; Trombulak & Frisell, 2000; Forman et al., 2003). Since many of those impacts cannot be avoided nor reversed, roads and motorways have traditionally been in the focus of studies on ecological compensation in different places (e.g. Penny Anderson Associates, 1993; Cuperus et al., 1996; Kuiper, 1997; Cuperus et al., 1999; Cuperus

et al., 2001; Cuperus et al., 2002; Rundcrantz, 2006; Thorne et al., 2009). This thesis takes advantage of this expertise that gathers most theoretical and practical problems that compensation development has to face, and which will be tackled also in the following chapters.

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OBJECTIVES AND STRUCTURE This thesis is divided in two complementary parts, each one addressing one general objective. The first one studies the role of ecological compensation within EIA processes in Spain and the obstacles it faces. The second part develops proposals to promote ecological compensation practice in this context, according to the results of the former. Each general objective is addressed through three secondary objectives, each one corresponding to a separate chapter. The first part, entitled ‘On the role of ecological compensation in Spanish EIA processes and the obstacles it faces’, is divided in the three following chapters: 1.

Chapter I: on the way ecological compensation is currently proposed within EIA processes in Spain.

2.

Chapter II: on the difficulties that may arise when trying to identify and attribute certain residual impacts to a specific project, which may constitute an obstacle to the estimation of the corresponding offsets.

3.

Chapter III: on the difference between the efforts we put to demand socio-economic compensation and the acceptance of ecological losses when facing a project.

The second part of the thesis (‘Some proposals to promote ecological compensation within Spanish EIA’) is based on the results obtained in the first one, and is also divided in three chapters: 4.

Chapter IV: on the convenience of highlighting ecological residual impacts within EIA processes to promote ecological compensation practice.

5.

Chapter V: on the way ecological residual impacts are currently addressed within EIA processes and how this may be improved to promote compensation.

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6.

Chapter VI: on current guidance to design ecological offsets, and a complementary proposal for the specific case of roads and motorways in Spain.

To unify the different chapters and integrate them in the general structure of the thesis, a brief presentation precedes each paper that explains its objective and content. This structure clarifies the role each chapter has for the general purposes of the thesis, and makes possible to develop a general discussion and to obtain general conclusions that go over and above the conclusions of each paper.

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FIRST PART ON THE ROLE OF ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION IN SPANISH EIA PROCESSES AND THE OBSTACLES IT FACES

The aim of this first part is to explore the current role of ecological compensation within EIA in Spain. This approach is made both from a general point of view through the revision of Records of Decision (paper I), and in deeper detail through the study of two specific cases that focus in some practical problems that cannot be fully appreciated from the broader perspective that paper I gives. The first paper looks for evidence on the way ecological compensation is addressed in EIA through the review of RODs (Records of Decision) of different national and regional projects. This general approach to the issue confirms the initial idea that compensation practice is very low. Complementarily, the proposal of ecological offsets for road and motorway projects is studied in deeper detail. The two following papers explore some of the technical and conceptual causes behind the low compensation practice that was observed in paper I. In addition, their different subject matters complement the viewpoint of the first one from different scales and perspectives. Paper II focuses on one of the technical obstacles that may hinder the proposal of compensatory measures: the difficulty of identifying and evaluating the residual impacts of a certain project. Through the study of the causes of induced impacts next to motorways, it explores the difficulty of attributing certain residual impacts to a specific project, an obstacle that hampers at the end the definition of the corresponding compensatory measures. The switch in the scale of study complements the outlook of paper I and provides new information on the difficulties associated to ecological compensation on road and motorway projects. Paper III focuses on exploring some of the possible conceptual obstacles that may hamper the practice of ecological compensation. By comparing ecological and socioeconomic compensation in a real EIA case, it explores some of the possible causes of the neglect of compensation before the evidence of loss of ecological value, a phenomenon that seems quite usual within EIA practice in Spain. This paper focuses on a coastal project, so it makes possible the comparison between its results and the data for roads and motorways presented in other papers. The complementariness between different scales and cases allows keeping the overall perspective while studying certain aspects in depth, which is proposed as a comprehensive way to approach such a broad issue as ecological compensation. - 15 -

CHAPTER I AN OVERVIEW OF ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION IN SPAIN

Villarroya A, Puig J. 2010. Ecological compensation and Environmental Impact Assessment in Spain. Environmental Impact Assessment Review; 30(6):357-362. doi: 10.1016/j.eiar.2009.11.001

Ecological compensation in Spain

As it was stated at the Introduction, it seems easy to understand ecological compensation as a concept but it becomes quite hard to put it into practice. EIA is a decision-making, administrative context subject to time and budget constraints that usually make difficult to put theoretical proposals into practice. For these reasons, actual proposals of compensatory measures may not meet the theoretical objective of achieving a no net loss of ecological quality. Paper I gathers real data on current EIA processes to get a general view of current ecological compensation practice in Spain, and evaluates whether actual proposal of offsets can ensure the avoidance of net losses of ecological quality. Data were obtained through the systematic review of RODs2 from different projects. These documents were chosen as indicators of the EIA process since they are accessible documents that gather the key information of the whole procedure. In addition, as they synthesize the whole process, they indicate somehow the importance that each part of the EIA is given by decision-makers. A total of 1302 RODs were reviewed to look for any references to ecological compensation, distinguishing between those documents where offsets where just mentioned and those ones where the proposed measures were described. These data provide an indication of the importance that ecological compensation is given within the whole EIA process. Data show that most documents did not include any references to ecological compensation, a result that was also registered in subsequent reviews of RODs of road projects (paper V) and coastal projects (paper III). These three reviews also found a contrast between compensatory measures, which were described in very few cases, and preventive and corrective actions, which were fully detailed in all the reviewed documents. These data prove that ecological compensation practice is currently very low within Spanish EIA procedures, which seemingly pay much higher attention to avoidance and mitigation measures. Complementarily to this ‘mitigation culture’, a

2

A ROD is a public document that synthesizes the elements and criteria that were taken into account to evaluate the environmental viability of a certain project, and the measures proposed to counteract its potential negative effects. Thus, the ROD shows the importance each part of the EIA is given within the whole process, so it may be used as an indicator of the role ecological compensation is provided in a certain country.

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Ecological compensation in Spain

‘compensation culture’ needs to be developed to ensure a full implementation of the mitigation sequence. Only by giving the same importance to all steps of the mitigation hierarchy it will be possible to achieve a ‘no net loss’ of ecological quality. Until then, a certain residual impact will always remain in the environment. The low proposal of ecological compensation measures may be due to several reasons. Chapters II and III aim to shed some light on some of the possible causes through the study of two specific cases.

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Ecological compensation in Spain

ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN SPAIN ABSTRACT To achieve meaningful sustainable development, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should avoid the net losses in the environment resource base. But EIA practice does not always avoid the losses caused by the implementation of the projects under EIA regulation. Some environmental impacts are, simply, admitted, even without enforcing any form of compensation. When applied, compensation is sometimes just a monetary payment to offset the environmental loss. This paper looks for evidence on the role that compensation is given at present in EIA practice in Spain, and for some of its conceptual and regulatory roots. Specifically, it explores how compensation is addressed in 1302 records of decision (RODs) on those projects subject to the Spanish EIA regulation published during the years 2006 and 2007, to know how far Spain is from preserving the environmental resource base managed through this particular aspect of EIA practice. As a result, it is concluded that the practice of ecological compensation in EIA in Spain is much lower than it could be expected in a theoretical sustainability context committed to avoid net losses in the environment resource base, mainly due to an EIA practice focused on on-site mitigation that allows these net losses.

KEYWORDS: EIA; sustainability; Records of Decision.

1. INTRODUCTION The interest in effective means of protecting environmental values is growing wherever human developments increase environmental degradation. Land use changes such as urbanization or road development, for example, usually reduce the value of the landscapes and habitats they occupy, by altering some of the functions of these environmental assets (Hueting, 1974 in Kuiper, 1997). All this happens even as the new developments are implemented, under the control of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), intended “to promote development that is sustainable and optimizes resource use and management opportunities” (IAIA and Institute of Environmental Assessment of UK, 1999). Most of the projects under EIA regulation result eventually in an onsite net depletion of the natural resource base, even after all the possible mitigating - 21 -

Ecological compensation in Spain

measures are implemented. The impacts of new roads, dams, railways or urban developments cannot be completely reversed on-site. They may be accepted by decision makers, when EIA practice is understood so that it should reduce the environmental disbenefits of projects and render them more sustainable (Wood, 2003). This prevalent understanding of EIA may be inevitable, even the only option at hand, in certain EIA decision-making contexts, countries or periods. As a result, the sustainability of landscapes is not ensured just because the projects implemented in them undergo thorough EIA processes. Should EIA be understood or carried out differently? Compensation has been put forward in EIA practice as a tool to keep whole the natural value of landscapes. It may not be sufficient, a straightforward way of delivering sustainable development. But, it is increasingly perceived as necessary to attain sustainability. The role of compensation in EIA is a subject for debate (Section 2). Yet, improved levels of sustainability could be achieved through the improvement of compensation in EIA practice. This paper looks for evidence on the role that compensation is given at present in EIA practice in Spain, and for some of its conceptual and regulatory roots. Specifically, it explores how compensation is addressed in the records of decision (ROD) produced by EIA practice, and how far Spain is from preserving the environmental resource base managed through this particular aspect of EIA practice. The answer to these questions may cast light on the degree of sustainability attributable to each development project implemented under EIA regulation, and on the sustainability of the habitats and landscapes in the long run. Section 2 overviews briefly the role of compensation in EIA. Section 3 addresses how compensation is regulated in Spain. In Section 4, 1302 records of decision (RODs) publicized during the years 2006 and 2007 on those projects subject to the Spanish EIA regulation are analyzed, regarding some particular aspects of compensation practice. Finally (Section 5) conclusions are drawn on how compensation practice is working in Spain at present within EIA frameworks, and suggestions are made for the future.

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Ecological compensation in Spain

2. THE ROLE OF COMPENSATION PRACTICE IN EIA Environmental compensation has been put forward as a tool to prevent the net loss of environmental values within EIA frameworks. Since the 1970s, many countries have given a growing role to environmental compensation in decisionmaking processes on land use (i.e. Rundcrantz and Skärbäck, 2003; Wilding and Raemaekers, 2000a,b). It has been linked to the concept of natural capital, and proposed as a means to achieve sustainability. But it remains discussed to what extent the erosion of environmental values may possibly be restored or reversed by environmental compensation (Cowell, 1997). Moreover, the very meanings of “natural capital” and “environmental compensation”, and their efficiency in protecting environmental values or the environmental resource base, are still open to discussion, either within EIA procedures (Hayes and Morrison-Saunders, 2007) or in other decision-making contexts. What is the meaning of “environmental” compensation? To what extent is it possible to distinguish “natural” values from the “human-made” or cultural ones in each environment? Is it “natural capital” a good tool to take care of environmental values? How can we maintain natural capital if environments are repositories of plural and incommensurable values (Cowell, 1997)? Some clarifying conceptualizations on how to understand and make good use of compensation practices in EIA contexts have been developed. For instance, it has been argued that sound compensation practice should adhere to the mitigation sequence of avoid, minimize, rectify, reduce and then utilize offsets or compensation as a last resort, assuming that the acceptability and manageability of impacts have to be considered before offsets are brought into the equation. Complementarily, a hierarchy of approaches has been identified within the concept of compensation itself, where the preferred order of methods would be restoration, creation, enhancement and preservation. Even the net environmental gain, through compensation, of every implemented project has been put forward as a goal for EIA practice. Multiple other issues involved in compensation practice might be brought to discussion, as the concept of “like for like” compensation, the difficulties in the valuation of lost biodiversity, the time lags between project impact and offset deliverance, and the gap between the real and intended environmental outcomes

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Ecological compensation in Spain

resulting from practice, among others (Hayes and Morrison-Saunders, 2007). The scope for potential research in compensation is very broad. The avoidance of net losses in the environment resource base seems inescapable to achieve meaningful sustainability in EIA contexts. Environmental compensation should offset the environmental impact of human developments by avoiding a net loss in the environment resource base, and not by paying for its depletion. We use the term “ecological compensation” rather than “environmental compensation” to stress this option, as the latter is used sometimes to refer to situations when the depletion of the environment resource base has been compensated through payments. Ecological compensation has been defined as the substitution of ecological functions or qualities that are impaired by development (Cuperus et al., 1996 in Cuperus et al., 1999). By using this term we intend to reject the idea that “natural capital” can be paid for in compensation for its loss, or be readily substituted by “human-made capital” during a sustainable EIA practice. As Rundcrantz and Skärbäck (2003) have stated, the term ‘ecological compensation’ is not used in the same way in all countries. In this paper, ecological compensation will be understood as the set of measures carried out to substitute the habitats, ecological values and functions that remain definitively damaged or lost, even after the measures to reverse the damage caused by a given infrastructure have been implemented. Compensation may range from the ecological improvement of damaged areas to the creation of entirely new habitats, generally the same as or at least similar to the lost ones. Following Cuperus et al. (2002), we distinguish between mitigation (those measures minimizing, rectifying and reducing adverse impacts, and so tied to the infrastructure causing them) and compensation (the replacement of natural habitat that takes place generally elsewhere) as separate terms.

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Ecological compensation in Spain

3. A REVIEW ON THE SPANISH REGULATION REGARDING COMPENSATION Regulation is an important formal step to integrate and attain ecological compensation in the decision-making process of projects with environmental side effects. In the European Union, compensation measures have their regulatory basis mainly in three Directives: the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 85/337/EEC and 97/11/EC (European Union, 1985 and 1997), the Birds Directive, 79/409/EEC (European Union, 1979) and the Habitats Directive, 92/43/EEC (European Union, 1992) (Rundcrantz and Skärbäck, 2003). Special pre-eminence is given in the EU to the integrity of the Natura 2000 network, in order to preserve its overall coherence as a network of protected land. The EU Member States, such as Spain, have to comply with the EU Directives in their own national regulations, and they retain the right to lay down stricter rules regarding scope and procedure when assessing environmental effects. In Spain, two main regulatory levels can be found: national regulation, which has a general scope and applies to the whole of the national territory, and “autonomous” regulation, which applies to just one of the 17 “autonomous regions” into which the country is divided, and usually includes rules complementary to the national ones, which are frequently stricter. Spanish national regulations do comply with the EU Directives. But, regarding compensation, they do not go much further. No reference can be found, for example, on how to define the extent of the areas where compensation should be applied, or the detailed circumstances under which compensation measures should be carried out. Nothing concrete is said on how to integrate environmental compensation in the decision making processes, or on how to monitor compensation work and its efficiency, etc. The term “compensation” does appear in regulations derived from EU Directives on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), nature conservation and other similar fields. EIA regulation establishes that the Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) must include the prevention, mitigation and/or compensation measures to be carried out when a project is finally implemented (Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Urbanismo, 1988; Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, 2008). But not even a definition for “compensation” is provided in any of these laws.

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Ecological compensation in Spain

The autonomous regulation, on the other hand, has to comply with the national one. But in some of the regions, stricter regulations can be found. They are in force only in the autonomous region that promulgates each regulation. Some of the 17 so-called “autonomous regions” in Spain have passed regulatory provisions to foster the practice of compensation. Law 7/2007 in the autonomous region of Andalucía (Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía, 2007), i.e., empowers the competent authority to enforce compensation when the damage caused to the natural values cannot be reversed in the affected place. It also allows the developer to pay a fine, which will be used for carrying out compensating measures. In the region of Aragón, Order of 4th April 2006 establishes the obligation to implement measures to compensate for environmental damage in potential wind farm areas that are ecologically sensitive. Law 11/2006 in the Balearic Islands (Comunidad Autónoma de las Illes Balears, 2006) forces developers to carry out ecological compensation, both in protected and in non-protected areas. Autonomous law in the region of Extremadura establishes the duty to compensate for measures taken to prevent bird nesting on power line infrastructures (Consejería de Economía y Trabajo de Extremadura, 2004). In the autonomous region of Navarra a reduction in forested land must be compensated by a reforestation area equivalent to the one lost (Comunidad Foral de Navarra, 1990). Other autonomous laws indicate the contents on compensation measures that must be specified in the EIS, such as maps (Departamento de Ordenación del Territorio y Medio Ambiente del País Vasco, 2003), or the budget and implementation schedule to be followed (Presidència de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 1988; Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid, 2002). The design of compensation measures in the Environmental Statement in the region of Aragón (Comunidad Autónoma de Aragón, 2006) must include the indicators to monitor their implementation and effectiveness. Decree 93/2006 in Navarra (Comunidad Foral de Navarra, 2006) enforces the Environmental Statement to specify the exact amount of the deposit to be paid by the developer to provide for the implementation of the compensatory measures to be carried out in the project.

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Ecological compensation in Spain

4. A REVIEW OF THE PUBLIC EIA RECORDS OF DECISIONS (RODS) IN SPAIN The regulatory framework is important or even necessary to promote compensation practices, but it does not give an account of their actual implementation. The understanding of the meaning and efficiency of the letter of regulation requires of data on its implementation. Of the multiple questions that could be inquired regarding compensation in EIA, the focus in this paper is on whether compensation is addressed in EIA RODs in Spain every time it should be to prevent a net loss in the environment resource base. To answer this question 1302 records of decision (RODs) from the EIA procedure of projects ranging from January 1st 2006 to December 31st 2007 have been studied. A ROD is the publicly available document where the approving agency presents the main factors that were contemplated to reach the final decision on every project, including the practical means to avoid or minimize environmental harm. The RODs in Spain contain an account of the EISs prepared during the EIA procedure. As the document justifying to the public the final resolution adopted on project implementation, it reflects the priorities set down by each environmental authority, and provides a solid indication of the role that they give to compensation. A total of 1088 of the RODs selected belong to “nonlinear” projects or infrastructures (like farms, quarries or dams), 27 to rail infrastructures, and 187 to roads. The RODs of six autonomous regions and cities have had to be excluded from the review (Andalucía, Baleares, Ceuta, Madrid, Melilla and Valencia), because it was not possible to access the information required to conduct the study. The 1302 RODs belong to a variety of project types. None of the 2006 and 2007 RODs concerning “linear projects” (roads or railways) was left out of the sample. The impossibility to reverse on-site the environmental impacts of roads and railways built on environmentally valuable land is self-evident. This is the main reason why these projects have been given separated attention. Noise, habitat loss and habitat fragmentation have been frequently quoted as some of the most important road and railway environmental impacts (Forman and Alexander, 1998; Forman et al., 2003). They may be minimized at best, but never completely avoided. As a consequence, sustainable EIA practice regarding the approval of any of these projects should make provisions for compensation practice, to avoid a net loss in

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Ecological compensation in Spain

the environmental resource base. Habitat loss may be compensated by transforming an off-site degraded area into a habitat comparable to the lost one. Fragmentation, as any other functional aspect of habitats, is more difficult to tackle with seemingly, and it may demand not only off-site but also “out-of-kind” compensation (Rundcrantz and Skärbäck, 2003). In most countries road projects have become main projects where ecological compensation is applied (i.e. Cuperus et al., 1999; Rundcrantz, 2006). As to the nonlinear project types, a maximum of 10 projects (five per year, when possible) were selected randomly for each kind of project in each region (e.g. only ten farm projects, five from 2006 and five from 2007, were revised in the autonomous region of Aragón). Once the 1302 RODs had been selected, a search for any references or terms related to environmental compensation was conducted. As a result, the project RODs were classified into three categories, as regards compensation practices: ‐

No compensation measures (“No CM” category): including those projects whose RODs do not even mention environmental compensation.



Unspecified compensation measures (“Unspecified CM” category): including those projects whose RODs do mention compensation measures, but do not describe them at all.



Specific compensation measures (“Specific CM” category): including those projects whose RODs specify and describe the compensation measures to be carried out as part of the project implementation.

4.1. MAIN RESULTS AND DISCUSSION It was found that only 407 out of the 1302 RODs reviewed (31%) mention environmental compensation, and only 117 of these (9% of the total) describe the compensatory measures to be carried out (Fig. 1). This ratio is maintained within the subgroup of nonlinear projects. The results for linear infrastructures can be seen in Figs. 2 and 3. The importance of all these data grows when compared with mitigation practice data: almost 100% of the RODs make provisions for mitigation. Data from road and railway RODs, which are projects with self-evident and unavoidable residual impacts, stress that the lack of reference - 28 -

Ecological compensation in Spain

to compensation practice in these RODs is not due to a sustainable implementation of these projects, but to an understanding of EIA that allows a net loss of the environment resource base. 9%

26%

22% No CM

No CM

Unspecified

Unspecified

Specific CM

Specific CM

69%

74%

Fig. 1. Results of the review of the RODs. 22% of the

Fig. 2. Results of the review of railway project RODs. No

RODs (290 out of 1302) mention but not describe

RODs with specific compensation measures were found

compensation measures, while an extra 9% more (117

for railway infrastructure projects, while 26% (7 out of a

out of 1302) describe them.

total 27) of these records mention environmental compensation.

13%

No CM Unspecified

28%

Specific CM

59%

Fig. 3. Results of the review of road projects RODs. 28% of reviewed RODs (52 out of 187) just mention environmental compensation, while an extra 13% more (24 out of 187) also describe compensation measures (adding up to a total of 76 records out of 187, a 41% of the total RODs).

The proportion of projects belonging to each of the three categories above mentioned (‘No CM’, ‘Unspecified CM’, and ‘Specific CM’) varies from one autonomous region to another. Unexpectedly, this variation is not always in keeping with the degree of development of the regulatory framework regarding compensation practice in every region. Law 6/ 2002 in the autonomous region of Canarias (Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias, 2002) is a demanding one as compared to other regulations. But only one of the ten RODs reviewed for this - 29 -

Ecological compensation in Spain

region mentions environmental compensation, and it does not describe the specific measures to be implemented. This does not seem a demanding approach to compensation practice, particularly if we remember that alternatively almost 100% of the RODs make provisions for mitigation. It has been noticed also that there is no homogeneity or standardization in the way environmental compensation is dealt with in the RODs. Given a year, type of project and region, some RODs have been found that describe compensation measures specifically, while others belonging to the same year, type of project and region and that should seemingly make provisions for compensation, for no apparent reason, do not even mention this practice.

4.2. COMPENSATION MEASURES IN ROAD PROJECTS Compensation practices regarding road projects were studied intentionally in more detail to identify future areas of research on compensation within EIA. Specifically, the 24 RODs on road projects describing to any extent the compensation measures to be implemented were reviewed. The specific measures are shown in Table 1, as they appear in the RODs. This table also indicates the kind of natural features to provide compensation for, as specified in each ROD. An initial review of the cases summarized in the table shows that the terms “compensatory” and “compensation” are used occasionally in the RODs in a confusing way, even to refer to measures that should rather be labelled as “mitigating” or “mitigation”. Compensation

measures

are

described

in

the

RODs

quite

heterogeneously. Their description varies in detail from one ROD to another. These descriptions do not seem to follow any common pattern in their design. For example, in some projects the compensatory measure “reforestation” appears only mentioned as ‘compensatory reforestation’, with no further specification (see Table 1, Navarra NA-178 road). Other RODs specify the proportion of the area to be reforested and the species to be used (see Table 1, Castilla la Mancha CM-4106 road).

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Competent Authority

Central Government

Roads

Natural feature to provide compensation for

Compensation measures in the ROD

A-11 motorway, Aranda del Duero west bypass Valladolid A-66 motorway, Benavente - Zamora

Woodland and shrubland

Replacement of woodland and shrubland removed by the road construction

Mediterranean temporary ponds habitat (Habitat Type nº 3170, Council Directive 92/43/EEC) ES0000207 SPA (Special Protection Area) Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus)

Replacement of an area equivalent to 100% of the damaged Mediterranean temporary ponds habitat area Replacement of an extension equivalent to 50% of the SPA damaged area. Payments to keep temporarily unharvested some selected Montagu’s harrier breeding areas of cereal crops. Improvement of a 5km-long stretch of riparian vegetation alongside Purón river. Promote a fern restoration programme in “Sierra Plana de la Borbolla” SCI . Develop an exotic species eradication programme, focused mainly in Eucalyptus globulus.

A-32 motorway, Linares Albacete A-8 motorway, Unquera Llanes

N-232 road, Agoncillo Logroño N-435 bypass, Beas — Trigueros N-I bypass, M-40 — Molar Cantabria autonomous region Castilla y León autonomous region

Castilla la Mancha autonomous region

ES1200034 “Purón river” SCI (Site of Community Interest) “Sierra plana de la Borbolla” SCI “Ribadesella-Tina Mayor” SCI, and ES0000319 SPA (Special Protection Area) Riverbank Green corridor

Streams Iberian lynx (Lynx pardina)

Improvement of the nearby green corridor already built on a former railway. Removal of abandoned road stretches, and revegetation. Vegetation replacement. The new planted area has to have an extension equivalent to at least four times that of the affected SCI area. Restoration of degraded riverside areas. Shutdown of a nearby scrapyard, and of several unauthorized dump areas. Woodland and shrubland replacement and handover of an area equal to twice the piece of land expropriated from the “Arroyadas” estate, crossed by the new road. Apply forest management techniques to minimize the induced fire risk alongside the road. Rare vegetation replacement. The newly planted area has to have an extension equal to at least three times the damaged SCI area. Riparian vegetation improvement alongside twice the length of the damaged stream stretch. Rabbit habitat improvement (main prey species to Iberian lynx)

ES0000167 SPA Riverbanks and riparian vegetation

Replacement of an area of riparian forest equivalent to the lost one. Riverbank cleaning. Riparian vegetation improvement on the riversides close to the damaged area.

SCI ES3110001 and ES3110003 vegetation

Pisueña river lane

Riverside areas

CL-600 road to Boecillo

Woodland and shrubland

A-5 (N-V) — A-4 (N-IV) main road

ES4250009 SCI

CM-3216 road, AlcarazVianos Alovera-Azuqueca road A-45 road, access to BegNerpio

Riverbank improvement, from the river crossing point by the road, to the confluence with the Ebro river.

Table 1 (I) Compensation measures for road projects as described in the reviewed RODs.

Competent Authority

Roads

Natural feature to provide compensation for

Compensation measures in the ROD

Guadalajara — A-3 main road

Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) ‘Vulnerable’ and ‘particular attention’ bird species, Woodland and shrubland

Restoration of damaged Lesser Kestrel nests, and construction of new ones. Leguminous plantations to compensate for the steppe avifauna habitat alteration. Vegetation replacement. The newly planted shrubland and woodland has to have an extension equivalent to four times that of the damaged area. Riparian forest restoration of an area alongside the river twice as long as the damaged riverbank area. Restoration and cleaning of the Holm Oak public interest forest. Power line impact mitigation measures for avifauna. Dump site reclamation, by planting the predominant oak and juniper species corresponding to the habitat.

CM-5051 road, Nombela Pelahustán Castilla la Mancha autonomous region

Riverbanks, riparian forest Public interest Holm Oak (Quercus ilex) forest Avifauna Habitat loss

CM-2023 road, PriegoAlbendea - Salmeroncillos

Woodland and shrubland

Reforestation. The planted forest has to have an extension equivalent to at least twice the area occupied by the project.

CU-9161 road, CM-2106 junction — Puerto del Cubillo CM-4106 road, Sevilleja de la Jara - Anchuras

Prospective SCI (ES4230014) and ES0000162 SPA

Revegetation. The planted area has to have an extension equivalent to at least three times the total SCI and SPA damaged areas.

SPA and SCI ES4250013 and ES4220003, and critical area for Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)

Puertollano bypass

Forest area (Habitat Type nº 9340 Quercus ilex and Quercus rotundifolia forests, Council Directive 92/43/EEC) Woodland and shrubland

Dump site reclamation (including planting of native vegetation; the environmental statement sets the species to be used). Reforestation of an area at least twice as large as the damaged non-protected forest area. Revegetation. The planted area has to have an extension equivalent to at least three times the damaged area. Native species have to be used. Ponds have to be created alongside the road, mainly near wildlife crossings. Riverbank reforestation with native species of crossing streams. Old dump and extractive areas reclamation. Plantation of ten native trees per each one that has to be cut down. Plantation of ten native trees per each one that has to be cut down.

EX-A I motorway, Plasencia - Portugal Extremadura autonomous region

Navarra autonomous region

EX-A3 motorway, Zafra Jerez N-121-A road, Bera de Bidasoa - Endarlatsa

Woodland and shrubland. Riverbanks.

NA-134 road, Lodosa bypass NA-178 road, Puerto de Iso

Woodland and shrubland (pine reforestation)

Substitution of non-native plantations by Alnus glutinosa forests. Construction of an upstream fish passage. Spawning area creation. Plantation of three coniferous trees per cut-down tree

Vegetation

Reforestation

SCI ES2200014

Table 1 (II) Compensation measures for road projects as described in the reviewed RODs.

Ecological compensation in Spain

The way compensation is implemented varies from one region to the other, and also within the same region (e.g. Table 1 Castilla la Mancha, Alovera— Azuqueca road and CU-9161 road: they compensate the damage to an SPA by reforesting in different proportions). As a result, similar impacts may be compensated to different degrees.

5. CONCLUSIONS AND PROPOSALS The practice of ecological compensation in EIA in Spain is much lower than it could be expected in a theoretical sustainability context committed to avoid net losses in the environment resource base. Less than one-third of the 1302 EIA RODs reviewed in this paper make some reference to compensation measures, while almost 100% make provisions for mitigation. These proportions are maintained within the subset of road and railway projects, indicating that the absence of compensation provisions in the RODs reviewed is not due to a sustainable implementation of the approved projects, but to an EIA practice that allows a net loss in the environment resource base. This loss takes place both in protected areas where EIA fails to provide mandatory ecological compensation (as demanded by EU and national regulations), and in other areas where compensation is optional from a regulatory point of view (so revealing potential deficiencies in the underlying policy towards natural environments). To make EIA in Spain a better tool towards sustainability such practice should change, making of compensation a necessary (even though it is not sufficient) condition to be integrated within every project approved through any EIA procedure generating impacts that cannot be completely reversed on-site. If this change should be promoted through changes in the Spanish and EU EIA regulations and policies, is an interesting subject for debate and further research. The practice of ecological compensation in EIA in Spain is not registered in the RODs as a consistent aspect of EIA decision making. The term “compensation” is used sometimes to refer to mitigation measures. On occasion, the measures are described more as suggestions than as mandatory conditions attached to the project approval decision. The description of the compensation measures to be implemented is rarely found in the RODs as mitigation measures are, endangering a - 33 -

Ecological compensation in Spain

sound public participation in EIA procedures. The way compensation is implemented varies from one region to the other, and also within the same region, as similar impacts are compensated to different degrees. All these data suggest that the way compensation measures are addressed in the RODs is not standardized. Although this seems a secondary question compared to the low rate of compensation practice, it demands also attention. A guidance document on how to deal with compensation in EIA, focused on the consistent selection of compensation measures for any project undergoing EIA could be helpful in this context.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We want to thank Prof. Jesper Persson for comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The corresponding author is supported by a doctoral fellowship provided by the Department of Science, Technology and Universities of the Government of the Autonomous region of Aragón.

REFERENCES Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía, 2007. Ley 7/2007, de Gestión Integrada de la Calidad Ambiental. http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2007/08/09/pdfs/A34118-34169.pdf (01/04/2008). Comunidad Autónoma de Aragón, 2006. Ley 7/2006, de 22 de junio, de protección ambiental de Aragón. http://www.boe.es/ccaa/boa/2006/081/d09819-09854.pdf (21/02/2008). Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias, 2002. Ley 6/2002, de 12 de junio, sobre medidas de ordenación territorial de la actividad turística en las islas de El Hierro, La Gomera y La Palma. http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2002/08/06/pdfs/A29016-29021.pdf (22/04/2008). Comunidad Autónoma de las Illes Balears, 2006. Ley 11/2006, de 14 de septiembre, de evaluaciones de impacto ambiental y evaluaciones ambientales estratégicas en las Illes Balears. http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2006/10/13/pdfs/A35382-35405.pdf (22/04/2008). Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid, 2002. Ley 2/2002, de 19 de junio, de Evaluación Ambiental de la Comunidad de Madrid. http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2002/07/24/pdfs/A27195-27220.pdf (15/04/2008). Comunidad Foral de Navarra, 1990. Ley Foral 13/1990, de 31 de diciembre, de protección y desarrollo del Patrimonio Forestal de Navarra. http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/1991/03/22/pdfs/A09073-09080.pdf (25/04/2008). Comunidad Foral de Navarra, 2006. Decreto Foral 93/2006, de 28 de diciembre, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento de desarrollo de la Ley Foral 4/2005, de 22 de marzo, de Intervención para la Protección Ambiental. http://www.lexnavarra.navarra.es/detalle.asp?r=5485 (26/02/2008). Consejería de Economía y Trabajo de Extremadura, 2004. Decreto 47/2004, de 20 de abril, por el que se dictan Normas de Carácter Técnico de adecuación de las líneas eléctricas para la protección del medio ambiente en Extremadura. http://doe.juntaex.es/pdfs/doe/2004/480O/04040050.pdf (31/03/2008).

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Cowell R. Stretching the limits: environmental compensation, habitat creation and sustainable development. Trasact Inst Br Geogr 1997;22(3):297—306. Cuperus R, Canters KJ, Udo de Haes HA, Friedman DS. Guidelines for ecological compensation associated with highways. Biol Conserv 1999;90:41—51. Cuperus R, Kalsbeek M, Udo de Haes HA, Canters KJ. Preparation and implementation of seven ecological compensation plans for Dutch highways. Environ Manag 2002;29(6):736—49, doi:10.1007/s00267-001-2504-7. Departamento de Ordenación del Territorio y Medio Ambiente del País Vasco, 2003. Decreto 183/2003, de 22 de julio, por el que se regula el procedimiento de evaluación conjunta de impacto ambiental. http://www.euskadi.net/cgibin_k54/bopv_20?c&f=20030904&a=200304936 (26/02/2008). European Union, 1979. Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds. http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:1979:103:0001:005:EN:HTML (28/03/2008). European Union, 1985. Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31985L0337:EN:HTML (31/03/2008). European Union, 1992. Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31992L0043:EN:HTML (28/03/2008). European Union, 1997. Council Directive 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997 amending Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31997L0011:EN:HTML (31/03/2008). Forman RTT, Alexander LE. Roads and their major ecological effects. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 1998;29:207—31. Forman RTT, Sperling D, Bissonette JA, Clevenger AP, Cutshall CD, Dale VH, et al. Road ecology: science and solutions. First ed. Washington, DC: Island Press; 2003. Hayes N, Morrison-Saunders A. Effectiveness of environmental offsets in environmental impact assessment: practitioner perspectives from Western Australia. Impact Assess Proj Apprais 2007;25(3):209—18. IAIA & Institute of Environmental Assessment of UK. Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment best practice; 1999. http://www.iaia.org/modx/assets/files/Principles%20of%20IA_web.pdf (15/05/2009). Kuiper G. Compensation of environmental degradation by highways: a Dutch case study. Eur Environ 1997;7:118—25. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, 2008. Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2008, de 11 de enero, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental de proyectos. http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2008/01/26/pdfs/A04986-05000.pdf (01/05/2009). Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Urbanismo, 1988. Real Decreto 1131/1988 de 30 de septiembre, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento para la ejecución del Real Decreto Legislativo 1302/1986, de 28 de junio, de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental. http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/1988/10/05/pdfs/A28911-28916.pdf (23/04/2008). Presidència de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 1988. Decreto 114/1988, de 7 de abril, de evaluación de impacto ambiental. http://www.miliarium.com/Paginas/Leyes/eia/ccaa/Catalunya/decreto11488.asp (31/03/2008). Rundcrantz K, Skärbäck E. Environmental compensation in planning: a review of five different countries with major emphasis on the German system. Eur Environ 2003;13:204—26, doi:10.1002/eet.324. Rundcrantz K. Environmental compensation in Swedish road planning. Eur Environ 2006;16:350—67, doi:10.1002/eet.429.

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Wilding S, Raemaekers J. Environmental compensation for Greenfield development: is the devil in the detail? Plan Pract Res 2000a;15(3):211—31. Wilding S, Raemaekers J. Environmental compensation: can the British planning regime learn from Germany? Plan Theory Pract 2000b;1(2):187—201. Wood C. Environmental Impact Assessment: a comparative review. Second ed. Harlow: PearsonPrentice Hall; 2003.

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CHAPTER II ON HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO IDENTIFY SOME OF THE ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS TO BE COMPENSATED

Villarroya A, Puig J. Urban and industrial land-use changes alongside motorways within the Pyrenean area of Navarre, Spain. Accepted in Environmental Engineering and Management Journal

The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Even though the results of the reviews of RODs showed that ecological compensation was more frequently addressed in relation to roads and motorways than in other projects, still most documents did not even mention those measures (data for years 2006 to 2010, see papers I and V). In contrast to these data it has to be reminded that the construction and use of such transport infrastructures always causes residual impacts (such as habitat loss and fragmentation, increase in fauna mortality, gas and particle emissions, and wildlife disturbance by traffic noise (Forman & Alexander, 1998; Spellerberg, 1998; Forman et al., 2003; see Introduction) that should be compensated in order to achieve ‘no net loss’ or ‘net gain’ objectives. In addition to those impacts, which have been (and still are) largely studied, some other effects of roads and motorways on the natural environment are still barely known. The compensation of such impacts turns out unapproachable, since it is not possible to know the loss of ecological quality they actually cause on the environment. This chapter approaches this issue by focusing on urban and industrial growth nearby transport infrastructures. Scientific literature points out the construction and improvement of roads and motorways as one of the possible factors that may have some influence on this phenomenon, but the extent and the mechanisms of such effect remain unclear. Paper II explores the connection between urban and industrial growth and transport infrastructures through the study and comparison of land-use changes nearby three motorways in the region of Navarre (Spain). Two of the motorways are located in mountainous areas of the region, while the third one runs across a flat area. Since change from natural or semi-natural land-uses to urban or industrial ones is considered to entail ecological quality loss, urban and industrial growth nearby the target motorways is delimited and measured, to gather some information on the way and the extent such infrastructures may induce these landuse changes. In accordance with the findings described in current literature, this study shows that establishing a causal relation between the improvement of transport infrastructures and urban growth is a hard task. The first obstacle for doing so may be the difficulty of identifying the influence of the many different factors that are related to these induced impacts. In addition, existing studies state that current - 39 -

The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

distribution of urban and industrial areas also have an influence on the demand and utilization of roads and motorways (e.g. Badoe & Miller, 2000), which constitutes an added difficulty for the study of the problem. Within the context of the thesis this paper approaches, from the specific case of transport infrastructures, the difficulties that may entail the identification and evaluation of certain impacts, such as induced ones. In addition to the specific conclusions that are derived from the study, the article explores the difficulty of attributing certain residual impacts to a specific project, which hamper at the end the decision on the corresponding compensatory measures. Some road impacts are easy to notice and to attribute to the construction and presence of the road (habitat loss, pollutant emission…), while others are almost unidentifiable. This indicates that the actual total impact of a road project on the natural environment may be higher than just the sum of the impacts we can detect. Regarding this, the need of compensating the identifiable impacts seems more evident, since the ecological quality loss that may be caused by those impacts we cannot notice widens the gap that has to be covered to achieve ‘no net loss’.

Due to the constraints on the number of tables and figures that are allowed in a scientific publication, those ones that could not be included in the original paper but may be interesting for the thesis have been gathered in the Annex at the end of this chapter.

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URBAN AND INDUSTRIAL LAND-USE CHANGES ALONGSIDE MOTORWAYS WITHIN THE PYRENEAN AREA OF NAVARRE, SPAIN ABSTRACT Road construction and improvement have long been studied as precursors of new development. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) of roads needs to gauge the phenomenon as long as possible, particularly across mountainous areas, because new urban and industrial uses on these valuable and fragile environments may cause significant impacts that should be counteracted to preserve their environmental quality. The aim of this article is to study and compare the occurrence of urban and industrial land-use changes, their rate and their distribution, between 1998 and 2010 and along two newly-built mountain motorways in Navarre (Spain), as a way to approximate the induction phenomenon. First, urban and industrial land-use changes have been identified, registered and mapped alongside each motorway. From these data, the maximum induction rate has been directly obtained, by hypothetically assuming that all of the new developments that took place alongside a route over a period of time had been induced by the newly-built motorway. This rate may be valuable in future environmental impact assessment scenarios. Land-use change data have been also set against the distance of the new developments to the motorway, the distribution of formerly existing urban and industrial settlements, and the steepness of the terrain, in order to make a preliminary approximation to how these factors may intervene in land use change processes around the studied motorways.

KEYWORDS: Environmental impact assessment (EIA), environmental management, induced impact, land-use change, Pyrenees, road impact.

1. INTRODUCTION Do newly developed motorways induce urban and industrial land-use changes alongside their route after their completion? And, if so, at what a rate they do it, and what environmental variables are involved, particularly in mountain areas? These questions are of high interest, among others, for those involved in assessing the indirect impact of roads, particularly across valuable and sensitive environments, wherein significant impacts should be either avoided or compensated.

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It is common believe that the construction and improvement of roads can be a precursor of landscape change by stimulating new development (Bürgi et al., 2004; Riitters and Wickham, 2003; Zenou and Patacchini, 2006). More specifically, it has been argued that the construction of transportation facilities causes both direct and indirect impacts, such as those resulting from land used for transportation infrastructures (direct impacts) or those derived from the effects an improvement of transportation has on development patterns (indirect impacts) (Litman, 1995). In fact, some authors consider urbanization to be the last phase of road development (Angermeier et al., 2004). There is a strong link between transportation and urban and industrial facilities, since accessibility is one of the most important success factors for the development of urban, commercial and industrial projects (Antrop, 2000). For this reason, investment in better accessibility through road and highway improvement will influence where the growth occurs (Handy, 2005; Hansen, 1959). In order to gauge the phenomenon of land-use change induction for impact assessment purposes, the occurrence of land-use changes that had place after a given road was completed should first be identified, registered and mapped alongside the route. Once the occurrence of changes is confirmed, further research could focus on exploring what environmental features may be associated with them. But even though declining trends with the distance from motorways have been described for urban growth in some places (Müller et al., 2010), we may find difficult or even impossible to isolate the motorway as the leading causal factor of change. Many possible causes, apart from roads, may converge in causing changes alongside certain routes (Lambin et al., 2001; Handy, 2005; Verburg et al., 2004). In addition, the methodological problems that arise when designing a research for establishing causalities make this task even more difficult (Giuliano, 2004). In any case, as long as cause-effect links remain unclear, landscape managers and those involved in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) may keep the cause-effect debate aside and still get valuable insight for impact assessment, by focusing on land-use changes that have actually been verified after a given motorway has been built, over a certain period. Once the actual land-use changes have been registered, the maximum induction rate for a certain period may be directly obtained by hypothetically assuming that all of the new land use changes of

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some specific sort that have occurred alongside a route have been induced by the newly-built motorway. Land-use changes to urban and industrial uses stand out as some of the most significant impacts on the environmental value of natural and semi-natural areas (Dale et al., 2000; Hansen et al., 2005; Kalnay and Cai, 2003; Meyer and Turner, 1992; Pielke et al., 2002; Vitousek et al., 1997). At present, the constant growth of built areas (especially urban areas) is a matter of major concern across many countries (Zenou and Patacchini, 2006). Consequently, the maximum induction rate of these uses by newly-built roads may offer to environmental managers guidance in anticipating potential induced impacts for future motorways, e.g. during EIA processes, which have been sometimes criticized for ignoring such indirect impacts (Wheeler et al., 2005). In any case, even though data on past changes are valuable, impact assessment professionals must bear in mind that past potential induction data do not set strict rules on how the future will evolve, least of all alongside different roads. The assessment of potential urban and industrial induction may be of particular interest for those motorways crossing ecologically sensitive zones, such as mountain areas. These areas have significance not only for those living there, but also for people living beyond (Schild, 2008), and they actually provide the lifesupport base for about 10% of humankind (Jansky, 2000). Due partly to their low accessibility (Jodha, 1992), mountain areas are frequently characterized by a high natural richness (Lynch and Maggio, 1997; UNCED, 1992) and environmental vulnerability (Virginia, 2009; United Nations, 1992), for example to the impacts caused by human developments. In fact, “access [and] communications […] are very powerful agents of change, not only (but especially) in mountain areas” (Kohler et

al., 2004). In the Pyrenees, the development of transport facilities has accelerated land-use change processes in the last years (Comín and Martínez-Rica, 2007). At the same time, improvements in accessibility to mountain areas also carry positive outcomes for people living in those areas (Kohler et al., 2004). Consequently, their inhabitants may alternatively fear or desire the potential land transformation that might come with the development of a new motorway. The primary aim of this article is to study and compare main urban and industrial land-use change rates that had place between 1998 and 2010 alongside - 43 -

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two newly-built mountain motorways in Navarre, Spain, both completed in 1995. Land-use changes will be identified, registered and mapped. The maximum induction rate will be obtained for each of the studied motorways and is proposed as a good means of anticipating and assessing what might be the extent of future road impacts. Complementarily, land-use change data will be set against the distance of the new developments to the motorway, the distribution of formerly existing urban and industrial settlements, and the steepness of the terrain, in order to make a preliminary approximation to how these factors may intervene in land use change processes around the studied motorways.

2. CASE STUDY

2.1.

STUDY AREA A-10 and A-15 motorways cross the mountainous area of northwest

Navarre, between the westernmost side of the Pyrenees and the Basque Mountains. AP-15 motorway, completed in 1980 (see Figure 1) has been also selected to serve as a counterpoint to the A-10 and A-15 features and surroundings, in search of a sounder interpretation of data from the motorways completed in 1995. Forests across the area crossed by A-10 and A-15 motorways consist mainly of beech (Fagus silvatica), with common oaks (Quercus robur) in the valleys and white oaks (Quercus humilis) on the sunniest slopes. A-10 runs along the flat bottom of a wide valley surrounded by steep mountain sides, and A-15 across a rugged topography. Figure 1d shows the different orography for A-10 and A-15. Conversely, the AP-15 motorway runs along the Mediterranean area of Navarre, dominated by crops, and holm oak (Quercus ilex) and Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) forests and shrublands. The frequency of exits from and entrances to this motorway is much lower than for the A-10 and A-15 motorways (see Figure 1c).

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Fig. 1. A and B: location of the studied areas. C: topography surrounding AP-15 motorway, and exit locations along the studied stretch. D: Main mountainous formations in the A-10 and A-15 study areas, and motorway exits within each stretch.

Fig. 2. a. Landscape surrounding A-10 motorway. b. Landscape surrounding A-15 motorway. Photos: Luis Sanz Azcárate.

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A-10 and A-15 motorways have been studied from nearby the town of Irurtzun to the Navarre border, completing 30 and 28 km-long stretches, respectively. A small portion of the A-15 watershed close to Irurtzun has been excluded because of its topographical continuity with A-10 watershed (see Figure 3). Beyond this excluded area, the A-15 and A-10 stretches run along sharply divided neighboring watersheds. The AP-15 stretch under study starts near the town of Tiebas, in order to make the three areas under study equally distant to Pamplona, by far the biggest city in Navarra. The AP-15 stretch is 42 km-long because a 30 km-long stretch would end far away from any of the exits of the motorway, making the stretch much shorter.

Fig. 3. Delimitation of the study areas for A-10 and A-15 motorways, and delimitation of proximity classes within A-15 motorway study area.

The extent of the impact of a road alongside its route may vary with the environmental factor under study in each case. Impact area has been said to reach from the 100 m closest to the edge of the road to even some kilometers from it, when dealing with such impacts as noise and its effects on animal populations, pollution on aquatic ecosystems, or invasive species dispersal. (e.g.: Forman and Alexander, 1998; Forman et al., 2003). The extent to which a motorway may induce land-use changes alongside its route remains unclear. In this study, we have looked for them up to a maximum of 10 km away from each motorway exit, provided the respective areas so - 46 -

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delimited for each of the motorways did not overlap. To avoid overlapping, the sharp topographical divide between the A-10 and A-15 neighbouring watersheds has been taken as a limit of each of the motorway’s potential area of influence over industrial and urban land-use change. Regarding AP-15, no overlap limited the 10 km-wide band along each side of the motorway. Data have been retrieved from the IDENA regional government geographic database.

2.2.

METHODOLOGY ArcGIS 9.1 (ESRI) was employed to identify, register, map and eventually

compare the urban and industrial settlements across the study area in 1998 and 2010. Urban and industrial land units occurring within 10 km from any exit/entrance motorway junction were delimited. The land-use classification followed the criteria set by the CORINE Land Cover database, a component of the CORINE (Coordination of Information on the Environment) Program, proposed in 1985 by the European Commission, and amply used in scientific literature (Müller et al., 2010; Zenou and Patacchini, 2006). Thus, urban land uses correspond to CORINE land cover class 1.1 (urban fabric), and industrial/commercial land uses correspond to class 1.2 (industrial, commercial and transport units) (Bossard et al., 2000). Instead of using available CORINE maps, these were newly drawn using orthophotographs provided by the regional government of Navarra (Gobierno de Navarra, n.d.), in order to work at a suitable scale. This work of mapping was executed at a 1:5000 scale. Each of the mapped urban and industrial units was assigned to a “proximity class to the motorway”, ranging from the “0 to 1 km”, to the “9 to 10 km” proximity classes. Distances were not calculated to the motorway route, but to its accesses, since this was considered a more realistic approach. Thus, distance classes were built around the road as buffers using ArcMap, taking motorway exits and entrances as their central points. Following the criteria set by Müller et al. (2010) an exit and an entrance to the motorway separated by less than 1 km were considered together as a sole exit/entrance point. Whenever homogeneous distance classes, or buffers, of neighboring junctions intersected, they were combined using the ArcMap “Merge” tool, in order to make sure that every unit - 47 -

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was assigned just once to a proximity class, and to the distance class closest to the motorway (see Figure 3). Finally, the total surface of urban and industrial uses alongside each of the motorways for every proximity class was calculated for 1998 and 2010. Land-use change data so obtained were set against the distribution of formerly existing urban and industrial areas, and the steepness of the terrain. On one hand, as Antrop (2000) stated, not only road accesses but also central places are considered as the ‘initiators’ of urbanization processes in the countryside, a phenomenon already registered in other studies (Verburg et al., 2004; Müller et al., 2010). On the other hand, not all of the area within 10 km of the motorway junctions is suitable for urban and industrial developments, due to the steepness of the mountain sides. Müller et al. (2010) consider that those slopes steeper than 15% are not suitable for new industrial and urban developments. As available land is a prerequisite of new construction, induced changes to urban and industrial land-uses are more likely to occur in areas with vacant land that is physically suitable for this kind of development (Giuliano, 2004). Since induced urban and industrial land-use changes happen mainly on lower inclines, we choose to relate maximum induction rates to the area under 20% incline, not taking into account the area represented by steeper terrain.

3. RESULTS While delimiting the new urban and industrial areas on the map, we realized that, from 1998 to 2010, urban and industrial growth alongside the studied A-10, A-15 and AP-15 stretches occurred only adjacent to already existing settlements. No new settlement was developed during this time period. Figure 4 shows the total area of land (in hectares) that changed into urban and industrial uses around each of the motorways, and within each of the ten proximity classes.

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Fig. 4. Total area of land that changed into urban and industrial uses.

Industrial and urban growth around the mountain motorways, A-10 and A-15, clusters within the three first proximity classes. This is not the case for AP-15, where no apparent link can be found between land use change total area, and distance class to the road. Urban and industrial land use change around AP-15 is notably higher than for any of the other motorways in almost all of the distance classes considered except for the first one, where it is equaled by the data for the A-15 and doubled by the results for the A-10. Figure 5 shows the total growth within each proximity class as a percentage of the area of each buffer. So, we see that for A-15 motorway and during the period of study, around 1% of the total area closer to 1km of any of the junctions has been developed into new urban and industrial uses. As we move away from the junctions, the rate of new developments (expressed as a percentage of the total area of the proximity class) drops notably for A-10 and A-15. AP-15 case differs from the mountain motorways.

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Fig. 5. Increase in urban and industrial land uses as a percentage of the total area of the proximity class.

Complementarily to these results, and having in mind that available land is a prerequisite for construction (Giuliano, 2004; see section 2.2), Figure 6 shows the rate of land-use change as a function of the area below 20% incline within the different proximity classes. So, we see that for A-15 motorway and during the period of study, around 3,5% of the area under 20% incline and closer to 1km of any of the junctions has been developed into new urban and industrial uses. As we move away from the junctions, the rate of new developments (expressed as a percentage of the area below 20% incline of the proximity class) drops notably for A-10 and A-15. AP-15 case differs from the mountain motorways.

Fig. 6. Increase in urban and industrial land uses as a percentage of the total area suitable for them.

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The highest rates for the three motorways were obtained for the first proximity classes. Values for buffers 1 to 3 are shown in Table 1, expressed now as percentage of newly develop hectares per year. So we see that within A-10 proximity class “1”, 0,102 hectares are transformed into urban and industrial uses each year for every 100 hectares of land under 20% incline. It can be noticed that the maximum land-use change rates were all obtained for the first distance class to the motorway; this is to say, across the land closer to 1km to the motorway junctions.

Motorway

Proximity class

A-10

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3

A-15

AP-15

Absolute land-use change rate (ha/100ha·year) 0,096 0,01 0,001 0,085 0,036 0,004 0,129 0,085 0,037

Relative land-use change rate (ha/100ha·year) 0,102 0,017 0,003 0,29 0,125 0,014 0,142 0,101 0,044

Table 1. Land-use change rates for the first three proximity classes. The rate in the third column expresses the growth in relation to the total area of the buffer (ha/100ha·year), while the rate in the fourth column expresses the growth in relation to the area under 20% incline within each buffer (ha/100ha·year).

Due to the fact that urban and industrial growth alongside the studied A10, A-15 and AP-15 stretches occurred only next to already existing settlements, land use change rates have been also set against the number of existing urban and industrial settlements. After dividing the total newly developed area within each distance class by the number of settlements within it, we obtained the data presented in Figure 7. We see that, for A-15 and A-10 motorways, the mean growth in urban and industrial area for each settlement decreases with the distance to motorway exits, generally. Once again, data for AP-15 around distance classes 7 and 8 stand out, demanding a particular interpretation.

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Fig. 7. Average land use change per existing settlement.

4. DISCUSSION Albeit preliminary, this study has allowed us to gain interesting insights and a first set of data on how new urban and industrial developments occur alongside newly built motorways across mountain areas in the Pyrenean area of Navarre. Data here obtained, even limited due to their very own nature, can be counted among the very few sets of data available that may help in anticipating and assessing the potential impact of new roads across the Pyrenees, and how it compares to other environments. Main urban and industrial land-use changes that had place between 1998 and 2010 alongside two newly-built mountain motorways in Navarre, Spain, have been identified, registered and mapped. This task is a prerequisite for any attempt at assessing these potential indirect impacts of roads on the environment they cross, and is undertaken using of different GIS tools and databases (see e.g. Aljoufie et al., 2011; Day, 2006; Hess et al., 2001; Jianzhong et al., 2002; Müller et al., 2010). Urban and industrial growth alongside the studied A-10, A-15 and AP-15 stretches occurred only adjacent to already existing settlements. No new settlement was developed during this time period. This is the first result that we noticed and that confirms results registered in other studies (Müller et al., 2010; Serneels and Lambin, 2001; Verburg et al., 2004). The least urbanized and industrialized areas around the motorways have a lower probability of experiencing changes. - 52 -

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The urban and industrial land-use change rates obtained show us the maximum induction rate alongside the three studied motorways, for the 1998-2010 interval. A-10 and A-15 rates show that no intense urban and industrial land-use change may be automatically anticipated immediately after a new mountain motorway has been completed. Even though highly variable, all these data together provide some criteria on what may be the range of maximum induction rates across varying environments, and so help in anticipating and assessing how variable might be the extent of these potential road impacts. As different studies have shown, the physical characteristics of the landscape have a great influence on the land-use changes that may occur in a certain area (e.g. Pan et al., 1999). A rugged topography may influence the change to urban and industrial land-uses nearby a motorway in two different ways, as our data seem to show. On the one hand, AP-15 does not follow the declining trend of land-use change as distance to the motorway grows that A-10 and A-15 show (see Figures 5, 6 and 7), already described for other mountainous places (Müller et al., 2010). This contrast would support the hypothesis that the steepness of topography limits the extent of the area affected by the potential inductive power of a new motorway crossing mountain areas, acting differently close to the motorways than away from them. A rugged topography may be limiting completely urban and industrial uses away from the motorway, and only gradually when close to it. On the other hand, rates for the land-use change in relation to the area below 20% incline (Figure 6) seem to point out that the lower absolute rates observed for mountainous motorways within the first distance classes may be explained mainly by a lower availability of land suitable for urban and industrial uses in this kind of landscape. For that reason, although the absolute land-use change around A-15 is small when compared to the other motorways, the calculated rates across the area under 20% incline within the 3 km closer to the mountain motorway junctions are higher for that motorway than for the other two. This means that all of the available land for urban and industrial use around A-15 might be completely occupied before the available land around A-10 and AP-15 is.

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All in all it can be said that, although physical constraints have an important influence on land-use change, there may be other different factors influencing this phenomenon (Reger et al., 2007). Interestingly, the hypothesis of the limiting effect of rugged topographies over land use change finds its own limitations when A-10 and A-15 are compared to each other. A-10 land use change rates (related to the total area of the buffer, see Figure 5) surpass A-15 rates for distance class 1, as could be expected due to the flatness of immediate A-10 surroundings, and the steep slopes of the A-15. Nevertheless, the results are the opposite for distance class 2, where land use change rate for A-15 is higher than the rate for A-10. An unexpected outcome, having in mind that topography within buffer 2 for A-15 is more abrupt than for A10. This finding corroborates, once more, the idea that some other mechanisms are at work, apart from topography, regarding land use change rates. The land-use change across AP-15 distance classes 7 and 8 cluster around the regional center for logistics and transport activities, and around Beriain (a dormitory town of Pamplona). As a consequence, it is reasonable to state that some other areas that have changed into urban and industrial land uses around the relatively flat surroundings of AP-15 may be more associated with previously existing settlements than with the distance to the motorway. As well as this two mentioned factors, other mechanisms may be intertwining with the potential inductive effect of the motorway proximity (Reginster and Rounsevell, 2006).

5. CONCLUSIONS One of the few sets of data on urban an industrial land-use change alongside two recently built Pyrenean motorways has been obtained. They reduce the uncertainty on the impacts potentially induced by these or similar motorways, but can not guarantee completely the impact assessment accuracy. From 1998 to 2010, urban and industrial growth alongside the studied motorway stretches in Navarre took place only adjacently to already existing settlements, confirming a phenomenon that has already been registered in other studies.

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The maximum induction rates obtained within the area under 20% incline were: 0,29 ha/100ha·year for A-15 motorway; 0,142 ha/100ha·year for AP-15 motorway, and 0,102 ha/100ha·year for A-10. Exclusively from the point of view of land use, and for the period of time under study, the impact of the studied mountain motorways on the land they cross has been mainly direct, caused by the land occupation and transformation implemented already during the motorways construction. These recently-built motorways have directly transformed and occupied a much wider area than the maximum potential induction rates obtained for them. This is a very meaningful outcome for environmental impact assessment purposes. The study of urban and industrial land use change around the motorways confirms that the potential induction effect caused by the proximity to the motorways, if existing, cannot easily be set apart from other influencing factors such as topography and pre-existing settlements. A consistently higher land use change has been registered within the 3 km closer to the mountain motorway junctions. The steep topography areas showed no new urban and industrial uses at a certain distance from the mountain motorways. Land use change data for AP-15, which crosses an area not surrounded by steep topographies, suggest a stronger relation of new developments to pre-existing settlements than to the proximity to the motorway. These first conclusions confirm that it may be not possible to prove an isolated induction phenomenon by the road, but provide useful information to environmental assessment, and back the opportunity of using the concept of maximum induction rate.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank Mr. Arturo H. Ariño and Mr. David Galicia for their advice on data management. Special thanks to Mr. Javier Otegui for his dedication and help with data processing, and to Mr. Luis Sanz for his photos of the study area. The corresponding author is supported by a doctoral fellowship

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provided by the Department of Science, Technology and Universities of the Government of the Autonomous region of Aragón.

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Litman T., (1995). Land use impact costs of transportation, World Transport Policy and Practice, 1 (4), 9-16. Lynch O.J., Maggio G.F., (1997). Mountain Laws and Peoples: Moving towards sustainable development and recognition of community-based property rights, Proc. Mountain Policy and Law E-Conference: Promising Examples and Innovative Legal Mechanisms for Conservation and Sustainable Development. Washington DC. On line at: http://europe.mtnforum.org/rs/econfreports/MountainLawsAndPeoples.pdf Meyer W.B., Turner B.L., (1992). Human Population Growth and Global Land-Use/Cover Change, Annual Reviev of Ecology and Systematics, 23, 39-61. Müller K., Steinmeier C., Küchler M., (2010). Urban growth along motorways in Switzerland, Landscape and Urban Planning, 98 (1), 3-12. Pan D., Domon G., Blois S.D., (1999). Temporal (1958 — 1993) and spatial patterns of land use changes in Haut-Saint-Laurent (Quebec , Canada) and their relation to landscape physical attributes, Landscape Ecology, 14, 35-52. Pielke R.A., Marland G., Betts R.A., Chase T.N., Eastman J.L., Niles J.O., Niyogi D.S., Running S.W., (2002). The influence of land-use change and landscape dynamics on the climate system: relevance to climate-change policy beyond the radiative effect of greenhouse gases,

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 360 (1797), 1705-1719. Reger B., Otte A., Waldhardt R., (2007). Identifying patterns of land-cover change and their physical attributes in a marginal European landscape, Landscape and Urban Planning, 81 (1-2), 104113. Reginster I., Rounsevell M., (2006). Scenarios of future urban land use in Europe, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 33 (4), 619-636. Riitters K.H., Wickham J.D., (2003). How far to the nearest road? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 1 (3), 125—129. Schild A., (2008). ICIMOD’s Position on Climate Change and Mountain Systems, Mountain Research and Development, 28 (3/4), 328-331. Serneels S., Lambin E.F., (2001). Proximate causes of land-use change in Narok District, Kenya: a spatial statistical model, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 85 (1-3), 65—81. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), (1992). Agenda 21. Chapter 13: Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development. On line at: http://www.regency.org/earth_summit_92/chapter13.pdf United Nations, (1992). Convention on biological diversity. On line at: http://www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd-en.pdf Verburg P.H., Eck J.R.R.V., Nijs T.C.M.D., Dijst M.J., Schot P., (2004). Determinants of land-use change patterns in the Netherlands, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 31 (1), 125150. Virginia R.A., (2009). An Ecosystem Approach to Mountain Resorts, In: Mountain Resorts Ecology and the Law, Milne J.E., Lemense J., Virginia R.A. (Eds), Ashgate Publishing Group, Abingdon, 23-38. Vitousek P.M., Mooney H.A., Lubchenco J., Melillo J.M., (1997). Human domination of Earth’s ecosystems, Science, 277 (5325), 494. Wheeler A., Angermeier P., Rosenberger A., (2005). Impacts of New Highways and Subsequent Landscape Urbanization on Stream Habitat and Biota, Reviews in Fisheries Science, 13 (3), 141-164. Zenou Y., Patacchini E., (2006). Urban Sprawl in Europe. European Environment Agency. On line at: http://swepub.kb.se/bib/swepub:oai:DiVA.org:su-45034?tab2=abs&language=en

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The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

ANNEX TO CHAPTER II

Figure 1. Detail of the identification and delimitation of changes to urban and industrial land uses.

Figure 2. Urban and industrial growth nearby A-15 motorway.

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The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Figure 3. Urban and industrial growth nearby A-10 motorway.

Figure 4. Urban and industrial growth nearby AP-15 motorway.

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The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Figure 5. Location of urban and industrial settlements prior to the construction of A-15 motorway.

Figure 6. Location of urban and industrial settlements prior to the construction of A-10 motorway.

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The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Figure 7. Location of urban and industrial settlements prior to the construction of A-15 motorway.

Figure 8. Slopes over and below 20% steepness nearby A-15 motorway.

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The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Figure 9. Slopes over and below 20% steepness nearby A-10 motorway.

Figure 10. Slopes over and below 20% steepness nearby AP-15 motorway.

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The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Place Albiasu Aldatz Alli Areso Arrarats Arribe Arruitz 1 Arruitz 2 Arruitz 3 Arruitz 4 Astitz Atallu Azpirotz Baraibar Beramendi Beruete Betelu Eraso Erbiti Errazkin Etxaleku 1 Etxaleku 2 Etxarri 1 Etxarri 2 Etxeberri Gaintza Gartzaron Goldaratz Gorriti 1 Gorriti 2 Igoa Ihaben Illarregi Inbas Itxaso Jauntsarats Latasa Leitza Lekunberri Lezaeta Mugiro 1 Mugiro 2 Muskitz Oderitz Orokieta Oskotz 1 Oskotz 2 Pol. Ind. de Lekunberri 1 Pol. Ind. de Lekunberri 3 Pol. Ind. de Lekunberri 4 Pol. Ind. Eluseder 1 Pol. Ind. Eluseder 2 Pol. Ind. Landa Suarbe Udabe Uitzi Urritza Uztegi 1 Uztegi 2 Zarrantz

Proximity class 3 3 2 2 8 3 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 3 6 4 2 7 5 4 4 2 2 1 6 7 1 1 1 9 4 9 3 4 5 1 3 2 3 1 1 7 4 9 4 5 2 2 2 1 1 3 10 2 4 1 5 5 4

Area 1998 (ha) 0,71 4,81 1,98 5,25 2,26 2,97 3,17 0,20 0,69 0,44 1,92 2,06 2,46 4,40 1,35 5,91 14,47 1,49 1,00 1,76 3,99 0,72 3,75 0,52 1,04 1,44 1,71 1,63 3,18 0,36 1,75 1,63 2,02 2,31 1,65 2,73 1,98 27,64 24,51 0,37 1,59 0,00 1,67 2,40 1,15 2,61 2,76 0,66 24,85 1,56 4,53 3,00 14,69 0,97 1,82 4,07 0,65 0,68 0,42 0,64

Area 2010 (ha) 0,71 5,04 2,26 5,72 2,31 3,11 3,17 0,44 0,83 0,47 2,27 1,35 2,46 4,46 1,45 6,34 14,58 1,74 1,04 1,76 4,25 0,72 3,89 0,67 1,18 1,74 1,88 2,17 3,44 0,46 1,87 1,63 2,02 2,31 2,11 3,41 2,53 30,38 50,68 0,37 1,59 0,44 2,31 2,49 1,21 2,72 3,09 0,66 33,34 3,18 13,68 3,00 19,49 0,97 1,84 4,52 0,65 0,68 0,49 0,65

Difference 1998-2010 (ha) 0,00 0,23 0,28 0,47 0,05 0,14 0,00 0,24 0,14 0,04 0,35 -0,71 0,00 0,06 0,10 0,43 0,12 0,25 0,04 0,00 0,26 0,00 0,14 0,15 0,14 0,31 0,17 0,54 0,25 0,09 0,11 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,46 0,69 0,55 2,74 26,17 0,00 0,00 0,44 0,64 0,09 0,05 0,11 0,33 0,00 8,49 1,62 9,15 0,00 4,81 0,00 0,02 0,45 0,00 0,00 0,07 0,01

Table 1. Data on the growth of the existing settlements and their distance to the nearest A-15 motorway exit.

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The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Place Aguinaga Aizpún Alsasua 1 Alsasua 2 Alsasua 3 Alsasua 4 Alsasua 5 Alsasua 6 Alsasua 7 Alsasua 8 Arakil 1 Arakil 2 Arbizu Ariz Arruazu Arteta Azanza Bakaiku 1 Bakaiku 2 Beasoain Compañía Dorrao Egiarreta Egilor Ekai Erice Etxarren Etxarri-Aranatz 1 Etxarri-Aranatz 2 Etxarri-Aranatz 3 Etxarri-Aranatz 4 Etxeberri Goñi Gulina Ihabar 1 Ihabar 2 Irañeta Iturmendi 1 Iturmendi 2 Izurdiaga Lakuntza 1 Lakuntza 2 Lakuntza 3 Lakuntza 4 Lakuntza 5 Lakuntza 6 Lakuntza 7 Larumbe 1 Larumbe 2 Lete Lizarraga 1 Lizarraga 2 Lizarragabengoa Madotz Ochovi Olazti 1 Olazti 2 Olazti 3 Olazti 4 Olza Osinaga Pol. Ind. Arkinorruti Pol. Ind. Ibarria 1 Pol. Ind. Ibarria 2 Pol. Ind. Ibarria 3 Pol. Ind. Isasia Pol. Ind. Ondarria Pol. Ind. Ulzubar 1 Pol. Ind. Ulzubar 2 Pol. Ind. Ulzubar 3 Pol. Ind. Zumurdineta Saldise Sarasa 1 Sarasa 2 Sarasate

Proximity class 7 9 2 2 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 10 1 6 10 1 1 9 8 5 2 9 1 9 1 1 2 2 2 2 8 6 1 1 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 8 8 4 3 2 3 8 4 3 4 5 9 9 5 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 8 9 9 8

Area 1998 (ha) 0,88 2,02 10,40 44,07 3,26 4,35 1,80 3,19 4,18 4,07 0,23 0,12 19,13 0,97 3,23 2,17 4,13 8,93 2,74 1,03 1,03 3,02 1,87 4,05 1,17 2,63 3,28 24,21 1,98 4,91 4,07 1,23 2,61 1,08 3,65 2,16 5,33 8,70 0,54 1,10 1,42 19,16 3,83 3,65 0,48 0,54 0,99 0,68 0,70 1,22 6,40 2,04 1,16 1,08 1,50 24,83 16,23 23,97 26,05 2,23 0,92 18,03 26,16 1,56 0,59 3,52 22,66 4,45 3,83 1,08 8,97 0,70 2,56 1,80 2,04

Area 2010 (ha) 0,88 2,02 10,40 48,56 3,26 4,39 1,80 3,19 4,18 4,07 0,36 0,12 22,73 1,03 3,37 2,21 4,23 9,82 2,77 1,03 1,03 3,64 2,83 4,69 1,17 3,42 3,53 27,10 1,98 4,99 6,75 3,29 2,70 1,08 4,02 2,16 6,70 10,35 0,94 1,10 4,46 20,45 7,05 3,65 1,13 0,83 1,71 0,95 0,78 1,24 6,46 2,04 1,19 1,08 2,39 25,48 16,23 26,53 42,70 2,26 0,92 18,03 26,16 1,56 0,59 5,65 22,85 Joins PI Ulzubar 2 18,47 Joins PI Ulzubar 2 11,11 0,70 4,29 2,14 2,04

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Difference 1998-2010 (ha) 0,00 0,00 0,00 4,49 0,00 0,04 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,13 0,00 3,60 0,06 0,14 0,05 0,09 0,89 0,03 0,00 0,00 0,61 0,96 0,64 0,00 0,80 0,26 2,89 0,00 0,08 2,68 2,06 0,09 0,00 0,37 0,00 1,37 1,65 0,40 0,00 3,05 1,29 3,22 0,00 0,65 0,29 0,72 0,27 0,08 0,03 0,06 0,00 0,03 0,00 0,88 0,65 0,00 2,56 16,65 0,04 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 2,12 0,20 -4,45 14,64 -1,08 2,14 0,00 1,73 0,34 0,00

The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Place Satrustegi Uharte-Arakil 1 Uharte-Arakil 2 Uharte-Arakil 3 Uharte-Arakil 4 Ultzurrun Unanu Urdánoz Urdiain 1 Urdiain 2 Urdiain 3 Urdiain 4 Urdiain 5 Urritzola Villanueva 1 Villanueva 2 Ziordia 1 Ziordia 2 Zuasti Zuhatzu

Proximity class 1 1 1 1 1 7 4 9 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 6 7 9 1

Area 1998 (ha) 1,80 12,10 2,68 7,68 8,90 1,77 4,04 1,98 11,01 0,97 3,33 0,67 2,59 0,69 3,81 0,88 7,63 27,88 7,13 0,92

Area 2010 (ha) 1,95 12,21 2,68 8,25 13,37 2,30 4,55 1,98 12,02 0,97 3,33 0,67 2,70 0,88 4,86 0,88 9,05 38,18 7,13 1,19

Difference 1998-2010 (ha) 0,15 0,11 0,00 0,57 4,47 0,54 0,51 0,00 1,01 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,10 0,19 1,06 0,00 1,42 10,30 0,00 0,27

Table 2. Data on the growth of the existing settlements and their distance to the nearest A-10 motorway exit.

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The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Place Adiós Amátriain Amunarrizqueta Añorbe 1 Añorbe 2 Arlegui Artajona Artariáin Barásoain / Garinoain Barásoain 1 Barásoain 2 Bariáin Barrio de la Azucarera Beire Benegorri Beriáin 1 Beriáin 2 Beriáin 3 Beriáin 4 Beriáin 5 Beriáin 6 Beriáin 7 Bézquiz Biurrun Campanas 1 Campanas 2 Campanas 3 Camping Olite Caparroso 1 Caparroso 2 Caparroso 3 Caparroso 4 Centro Comercial La Toscana Ciudad del Transporte Echagüe Elorz Enériz Esparza de Galar 1 Esparza de Galar 2 Ezperun 1 Ezperun 2 Ezperun 1 Ezperun 2 Falces 1 Falces 2 Falces 3 Falces 4 Falces 5 Funes 1 Funes 2 Funes 3 Funes 4 Guerendiáin Imárcoain 1 Imárcoain 2 Iracheta La Estación 1 La Estación 2 La Torre Maquirriain Marcilla 1 Marcilla 2 Marcilla 3 Marcilla 4 Marcilla 5 Marcilla 6 Marcilla 7 Mendivil 1 Mendivil 2 Mendivil 3 Muruarte de Reta Muruzábal 1 Muruzábal 2 Olaz Subiza 1 Olaz Subiza 2

Proximity class 7 8 10 5 5 8 10 9 6 6 6 8 2 8 4 7 7 8 7 8 8 8 5 3 3 2 2 3 7 7 7 7 1 7 6 10 6 10 10 8 8 8 8 9 9 8 9 8 7 7 6 6 6 8 8 10 9 9 2 7 2 3 2 1 2 1 1 7 7 6 1 10 10 4 5

Area 1998 (ha) 8,36 1,00 0,40 12,14 0,80 5,84 1,97 1,33 25,00 1,40 1,22 1,17 7,99 11,00 0,46 10,80 0,75 19,21 42,68 3,85 47,17 18,13 0,59 8,37 3,55 6,44 2,63 4,47 1,76 50,58 1,21 3,41 4,84 31,80 1,25 1,45 17,11 5,19 2,37 0,94 0,85 1,24 1,23 42,73 1,74 12,46 1,03 2,41 12,72 16,86 4,59 1,34 0,63 1,51 3,66 1,48 2,41 0,00 5,42 1,28 35,41 0,93 0,54 7,66 1,30 4,07 0,41 2,10 1,11 0,57 2,82 10,56 5,40 1,46 1,85

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Area 2010 (ha) 8,84 1,07 0,38 17,48 0,80 6,26 1,97 1,51 30,73 1,40 1,22 1,17 6,59 12,32 0,46 46,42 1,22 27,20 66,22 Joins Beriáin 4 61,86 Joins Beriáin 6 0,59 10,06 3,55 7,82 3,49 5,91 2,82 51,00 1,21 3,41 4,97 67,64 1,25 1,97 22,11 7,66 2,37 0,94 0,85 1,71 1,39 43,26 1,74 14,41 1,03 2,41 15,02 17,86 4,59 1,34 0,88 9,00 Joins Imárcoain 1 2,14 2,41 4,66 7,49 1,28 37,53 0,93 0,54 9,65 14,63 5,17 0,41 2,38 1,11 0,57 2,86 10,99 6,01 1,51 1,51

Difference 1998-2010 (ha) 0,48 0,06 -0,01 5,35 0,00 0,42 0,00 0,18 5,73 0,00 0,00 0,00 -1,40 1,32 0,00 35,62 0,47 7,99 23,54 -3,85 14,69 -18,13 0,00 1,70 0,00 1,38 0,86 1,43 1,05 0,42 0,00 0,00 0,13 35,84 0,00 0,52 4,99 2,47 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,47 0,16 0,53 0,00 1,95 0,00 0,00 2,30 1,00 0,00 0,00 0,25 7,48 -3,66 0,66 0,00 4,66 2,06 0,00 2,13 0,00 0,00 1,99 13,33 1,10 0,00 0,28 0,00 0,00 0,04 0,43 0,61 0,05 -0,34

The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Place Olcoz / Olkotz 1 Olcoz / Olkotz 2 Olite 1 Olite 2 Olite 3 Olite 4 Olite 5 Olite 6 Olite 7 Olite 8 Olleta Olóriz Oricin Orisoain Otano Peralta 1 Peralta 2 Peralta 3 Peralta 4 Peralta 5 Peralta 6 Peralta 7 Pitillas Pol. de los Almacenes Pol. Ind. Abaco Pol. Ind. Barranquiel Pol. Ind. de Barásoain Pol. Ind. Garantúa/Escopar 1 Pol. Ind. Garantúa/Escopar 2 Pol. Ind. La Nava Pol. Ind. Torres de Elorz 1 Pol. Ind. Torres de Elorz 2 Pueyo 1 Pueyo 2 San Martín de Unx 1 San Martín de Unx 2 Sánsoain 1 Sánsoain 2 Sansomáin Solchaga Subiza Tafalla 1 Tafalla 2 Tafalla 3 Tafalla 4 Tafalla 5 Tiebas 1 Tiebas 2 Tiebas 3 Tiebas 4 Tiebas 5 Tiebas 6 Tiebas 7 Tiebas 8 Tirapu Torres de Elorz 1 Torres de Elorz 2 Torres de Elorz 3 Traibuenas 1 Traibuenas 2 Ucar 1 Ucar 2 Unzué 1 Unzué 2 Uterga Villafranca 1 Villafranca 2 Villafranca 3 Villafranca 4 Villafranca 5 Villafranca 6 Yárnoz Zabalegui 1 Zabalegui 2 Zabalegui 3

Proximity class 3 3 4 3 3 3 4 5 5 1 10 6 5 6 9 7 7 6 5 5 4 5 10 7 3 1 7 8 8 1 10 10 2 2 8 9 5 4 4 8 5 2 3 3 2 3 3 1 3 2 1 1 1 1 5 9 9 9 10 10 4 4 3 4 10 7 6 8 4 4 6 10 9 9 9

Area 1998 (ha) 2,62 0,59 54,01 0,85 3,83 0,70 2,85 6,81 0,66 6,81 2,06 2,89 1,46 2,56 0,77 48,93 4,29 1,65 1,99 2,13 1,27 1,15 0,51 1,35 9,05 5,14 4,84 60,62 0,50 13,25 6,93 2,53 13,60 1,18 12,24 0,28 0,48 0,94 1,25 2,47 4,64 88,01 1,48 5,69 1,04 2,60 8,16 9,84 23,20 21,17 25,49 5,37 6,74 2,73 3,12 6,50 2,75 1,03 2,37 1,06 7,02 2,60 5,32 4,08 8,63 43,05 4,00 5,75 0,87 5,22 1,30 0,79 2,30 0,28 0,49

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Area 2010 (ha) 2,96 0,68 77,60 0,85 3,83 2,21 3,20 9,27 0,66 9,73 2,12 3,97 1,46 2,65 0,81 64,85 Joins Peralta 1 2,62 5,61 Joins Peralta 4 6,32 1,24 0,78 4,88 9,05 12,21 9,88 87,92 0,50 30,36 9,29 4,95 16,50 Joins Pueyo 1 13,97 0,90 1,07 0,94 1,25 2,67 6,20 104,36 1,48 5,69 1,19 7,49 10,16 14,06 49,49 36,05 36,53 6,93 Joins Tiebas 6 Joins Tiebas 6 3,22 9,89 2,75 1,03 2,37 1,06 9,98 3,18 5,54 5,05 9,22 44,38 5,78 12,57 1,15 8,66 1,69 0,92 3,24 Joins Zabalegui 1 0,49

Difference 1998-2010 (ha) 0,34 0,08 23,60 0,00 0,00 1,52 0,35 2,46 0,00 2,92 0,07 1,08 0,00 0,08 0,04 15,92 -4,29 0,97 3,62 -2,13 5,05 0,09 0,27 3,52 0,00 7,07 5,04 27,31 0,00 17,11 2,36 2,42 2,90 -1,18 1,73 0,62 0,60 0,00 0,00 0,20 1,56 16,35 0,00 0,00 0,16 4,89 2,00 4,22 26,30 14,88 11,04 1,57 -0,35 -2,73 0,09 3,39 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 2,96 0,58 0,21 0,97 0,59 1,32 1,78 6,81 0,28 3,44 0,39 0,13 0,94 -0,28 0,00

The difficulty involved in identifying certain ecological impacts

Place Zabalegui 4 Zariquiegui 1 Zariquiegui 2 Zariquiegui 3

Proximity class 9 10 10 10

Area 1998 (ha) 0,34 1,34 0,00 0,38

Area 2010 (ha) 0,34 2,39 3,08 Joins Zariquiegui 1

Difference 1998-2010 (ha) 0,00 1,04 3,08 -0,38

Table 3. Data on the growth of the existing settlements and their distance to the nearest AP-15 motorway exit.

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CHAPTER III THE ACCEPTED LOSS OF ECOLOGICAL QUALITY

Puig J, Villarroya A. Ecological quality loss and damage compensation in estuaries: clues from a lawsuit in the Basque Country, Spain. Manuscript submitted to Ocean and Coastal Management

The accepted loss of ecological quality

As data show, most often ecological offsets are not proposed for several projects that do cause residual impacts on the natural environment. For this reason, in most cases the achievement of ‘no net loss’ objectives cannot be expected. However, the low practice of compensation does not seem to be perceived as a problem in general terms, since Spanish EIA processes approve many projects that do not plan any compensatory measures to balance their ecological residual impacts. Thus, residual impacts seem to be overlooked, or just accepted as unavoidable effects of development. The results obtained from the review of RODs in paper III (not included in the text of the article, see annex to this chapter) and V seem to support this hypothesis, since only a small percentage of the reviewed documents (12% and 9%, respectively) include some references to residual impacts. Paper III tackles this apparent acceptance of ecological loss, which is one of the possible conceptual (i.e. related to the way we conceive development) causes behind the low ecological compensation practice that was detected in paper I. At the same time, this paper offers the opportunity to contrast the results on the proposal of ecological offsets for roads and motorways (see chapters I and II) with other kinds of projects, such as coastal ones. This

paper

compares

the

way

ecological

and

socio-economical

compensation are addressed within the same project, with the aim to shed some light on any possible causes behind the apparent acceptance of ecological loss. The study shows that ecological residual impacts do not usually get as much attention or compensatory effort as socio-economic ones. Although the studied project caused both economic and ecological impacts, effort was put into offsetting only the first ones while no attention was paid to the second ones. By comparing the way both kinds of impacts were tackled, some of the obstacles that may arise when trying to put ecological compensation into practice (and which may partly cause the low compensation practice data registered) can be identified. On the one hand, a socio-economic impact usually affects specific people who perceive it as their own problem and seek the way to remediate it. Instead, ecological impacts do not affect specific people but the whole community, so it is less probable that somebody assumes the responsibility of balancing the damage. Thus, the compensation of ecological residual impacts depends at the end on the enforcement provided by the environmental laws of each place, or on the will of - 71 -

The accepted loss of ecological quality

the developer of the project. On the other hand, as paper II already pointed out, the significance of ecological damages may be hard to evaluate, and so may be the estimation of the corresponding offsets. As it is described in the paper, the economic impact of the studied project was easily calculated once the connection between cause and effect was clarified and admitted. And as the impact was estimated in economic units, it was easy to calculate the corresponding monetary compensation. Instead, ecological damages are usually hard to measure, and even when this is possible the amount of compensation required is not easy to estimate, either (Rowe et al., 2009). At the end, the problem of determining the value of natural values underlies all these questions.

Problems related to impact valuation and to the estimation of the corresponding offsets are at the core of the second part of the thesis, where they are studied more in depth.

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The accepted loss of ecological quality

ECOLOGICAL QUALITY LOSS AND DAMAGE COMPENSATION IN ESTUARIES: CLUES FROM A LAWSUIT IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN ABSTRACT This article presents an environmental impact assessment (EIA) controversial case, which was finally settled by the passing of a sentence. The sentence enforced a payment to compensate for the economic damage caused to a fish farm through local environmental changes in Urola river estuary, located in the Basque Country. The damage was allegedly caused by a breakwater extension built at the mouth of an estuary nearby the farm, and linked to a recreation port project located within the estuary. While the sentence settled the meaning of compensation from an economic perspective, it raised by contrast some questions on the difficulty of undertaking ecological compensation within EIA practice, using of this particular case. Maybe these difficulties account for the lack of compensation in coastal development projects, which we have observed in a variety of cases in Spain, particularly for coastal development projects.

KEYWORDS: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); ecological compensation; economic compensation; coastal development; turbot fish farm.

1. INTRODUCTION Environmental impact assessment (EIA) aims at improving the sustainability of certain environmentally regulated projects, by identifying and valuing their significant environmental impacts and proposing measures to counter them (IAIA, 2009; IAIA and UK Institute of Environmental Assessment, 1999; Jay et al., 2007). Once they are identified and valued in advance, impacts may be counteracted through avoidance, minimization or compensation techniques. Of these techniques, compensation aims at achieving environmental positive outcomes after impacting projects have been implemented (BBOP, 2009; EPA, 2006; Finkelstein et al., 2008; Pope et al., 2004; van Merwyk and Daddo, 2007; Weaver et al., 2008). The concept of “compensation” shares some formal similarity with the concept of “sustainability”: both are at first glance easier to be understood from a conceptual point of view, than to be translated into practical implementations on particular cases. Several articles may be found, among the current literature, that refer to some practical difficulties that arise when trying to implement - 73 -

The accepted loss of ecological quality

compensatory measures (Hayes and Morrison-Saunders, 2007; Kiesecker et al., 2009; Kiesecker et al., 2010a; Kiesecker et al., 2010b; McKenney, 2005). Consequently, the choice and design of specific offsets to be implemented in each development project usually becomes a harder task than that of simply pointing out their need. This constraint is inherent to the nature of compensation, as there is always a wide, open range of suitable measures potentially fitting in each particular compensation case. In order to eventually compensate for them, impacts caused on the environment may be valued using of two main complementary approaches: ecological valuation, and socio-economic valuation (Efroymson et al., 2008; Smith and Theberge, 1986; Van der Ploeg and Vlijm, 1978). Seemingly, environmental compensation may be understood and implemented in either one of two broad complementary ways. The monetary approach foresees payments as a compensation to balance out damages caused mainly to the socio-economic values of the impacted environment, but also to its ecological quality (Hendriks, 2001; Wood, 2003). From a different perspective, ecological compensation can be implemented attempting at “the substitution of ecological functions or values that are impaired by development” (Cuperus et al., 2001). This approach does not use the monetary solution to counterbalance the ecological impacts caused by the project implementation, seeking to preserve as far as possible the overall ecological quality of the environment, as a way to approach or attain sustainability. This article presents an EIA controversial case, which was finally settled by the passing of a sentence. The sentence enforced a payment to compensate for the economic damage caused to a fish farm through local environmental changes. The damage was allegedly caused by a breakwater extension built at the mouth of an estuary nearby the farm, and linked to a recreation port project located within the estuary. While the sentence settled the meaning of compensation from an economic perspective, it raises by contrast some questions on the difficulty of undertaking ecological compensation within EIA practice, using of this particular case. Maybe these difficulties account for the lack of compensation in coastal development projects, which we have observed in a variety of cases in Spain (see Section 5).

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The accepted loss of ecological quality

2. STUDY AREA: FISH FARM AND BREAKWATER PROJECT LOCATIONS The turbot farm (Psetta maxima Linnaeus, 1758 [Scophthalmidae]) started operating in 1992. It was located in a hollow by the coastline, close to the town of Zumaia, and nearby the mouth of the small estuary of Urola river, (Basque Country, Spain, Figure 1). The farm was built after obtaining from the regional government the permit required to make use of the marine water to operate. Apart from the building containing the pools to feed and grow the fish, a small pumping facility supplied the marine water along two underground pipes. The water intake was originally build North of the farm, some 400 m further away than the main facility from the estuary mouth, seeking to reduce the potential and variable influence of the river water on the quality of the marine water to be taken into the farm (Figure 1, d). The 59 km-long Urola River shows a torrential character of variable volume of flow ranging from around 1 to 196 m3s-1.

Fig. 1. Location of the study area.

The breakwater was intended to enlarge the sheltered area for those boats and small vessels intending to access or leave the Zumaia river port during roughsea conditions, which are quite frequent around the mouth of the Urola estuary, mainly in winter time. Figure 2 shows the breakwater that was finally completed in 1995, and compares it to the reach of the pre-existing one. - 75 -

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Fig. 2. Overview of the study area before (1991) and after (2001) the completion of the new breakwater. Significantly, the image of 1991 was taken during a lower tide than the image of 2001. An even so, the beach extension is clearly shown.

3. EVENTS, CONTROVERSY, SENTENCE. The first notable anomalies in fish productivity were recorded by the farm managers in summer 1994. They were coincident in time with the progressive development of the breakwater extension works. Significant amounts of turbot died with no apparent reason to the owners but the change in water quality associated to, and allegedly caused by, the new breakwater under construction. Changes in the farm were registered as growingly important, although not in a constant way, as the mixing of fresh and marine waters varies heavily depending on the changing Urola river flow and water temperature, the weather and, particularly, on the wind conditions and the sea roughness at the area, and the beating strength of the waves against the shore. As problems began to grow in the farm (decrease in water salinity, blocking of pumps by sand intakes…) their managers decided to demand funds to relocate the water intake mouth, as a way to ensure future productivity. The new intake mouth would be further away from the shoreline, and opening into a deeper level

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in the sea. The request was not granted, and problems for the fish farm repeated in July 1995. Finally they reached their peak in August 1995, when the farm managers denounced that around 95% of the turbot stock growing in their production pools had suddenly perished due to a critical change in the quality of coastal water at the intake point, allegedly caused by the breakwater extension newly built, and its related works. The mortality of the turbot stock was independently verified. A discussion on the cause of the turbot mortality ensued, and finally litigation began. It was a long process. All of the possible standpoints could be reduced to two main approaches: was the breakwater construction to be held responsible, or not, of the critical change in water quality, and so of the registered turbot mortality? The farm managers alleged that the construction of the breakwater had changed the variable quality of the waters at the intake to a critical point where new occasional low quality episodes caused the turbot mortality. Alternative arguments pointed out at causes other than any change caused by the building of the breakwater, such as pre-existing variable conditions in water quality, occasionally critical, that were not originated by the newly built structure and had not showed themselves up during the first operating years of the farm. Had these critical conditions been detected and taken into account by the farm managers, the intake should have been located elsewhere. There were also allegations of mortality being caused by an epidemic spread across the pools due to bad management at the facility. Litigation ended up with a sentence passed in July 2004 that enforced the insurance company for the breakwater construction works to pay around 12.5 million € to the farm managers, in compensation for the economic damage caused at the farm.

4. ECONOMIC VS. ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION Ecological changes along the shorelines, particularly in estuaries, may pass even more unnoticed than on land, particularly when located underwater. Perception is a pre-requisite for reaction to damage or value loss. The ocean and estuarine waters seem to cast a blanket hiding most of the local ecological impacts other than water pollution, hampering not only perception, but also estuary ecology knowledge. - 77 -

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In our case, during the litigation process, a good feasible picture of how the estuary processes operated during the mortality peak was put together. The unfolding of the case gave the opportunity to improve perception, and direct general knowledge on estuarine ecology to detail how the particular estuary under study works. Actually, all this knowledge was instrumental in passing the final sentence. The link between the breakwater works and the damage suffered by the fish farm could only be legally demonstrated using of the knowledge on the allegedly impacted dynamic ecological features of the estuary, as linked to turbot physiology. To pass the sentence it had to be known that the sand level at the intake point was raising (as it was blocking the pumps and pipes) and that the shoreline of the nearby beach was also advancing to the sea (allegedly, as a consequence of the shelter effect provided by the breakwater), that the volume of water at the now more enclosed mouth of the estuary had probably been reduced due to sand deposition (Figure 2) and that, in a calm ocean during summertime, fresh water from the river may build up at the mouth of the estuary to a surface layer of significant low salinity separated sharply by a halocline from the denser layer below, made up mainly of sea water. Both layers of water, on these stratification conditions, could now alternatively reach the turbot farm intake depending on the tide. Low salinity water entrance during low tide followed the higher salinity water pumping during high tide. The sudden changes in salinity registered at the water intake point, which coincided with the tide schedule and rhythm, evidenced this water stratification. The repeated sharp changes in the water salinity interfered critically with the turbot physiology, causing a stress worsened by the high water temperature, which increases the metabolism of fish and reduces the dissolved oxygen contents, even to reach eventually a physiological stress death point. And yet, no compensation other than the economic to the farm has been thought of along the process. Interestingly, none of the ecological mechanisms operating in court were effective, not even eventually, in developing a derived practical care for the ecology of the area, and for those residual impacts other than economic, which remained uncared for after the completion of the breakwater and the passing of the sentence. Why so?

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5. ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION PRACTICE AND COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS UNDER SPANISH EIA REGULATION

This is not an isolated case. Ecological compensation is not a common practice in EIA implementation in Spain (Villarroya and Puig, 2010). The review of 75 EIA records of decision (RODs)3 publicized during the last 10 years revealed a worsened situation for coastal development projects (see Figure 3). If ecological compensation is neglected in EIA, we can scarcely hope to find it elsewhere.

Fig. 3. Results of the review of coastal development projects RODs in Spain publicized between 2001 and 2011. Most of the documents did not even mention the term “ecological compensation” or any other equivalent expression.

The argument of this paper is not that ecological changes or even damages have to be always avoided. We intend to point out that currently we simply accept their accumulation doing nothing but take advantage of the quality of the coastal environments to foster development, while rending them less valuable in ecological terms. We keep taking up the ecological values, using them, and not thinking of how to keep them at least at an overall constant quality level. As long as low levels of compensation practice last, it seems timely to remind that ecological compensation is necessary to fight back impact occurrence and accumulation, to attain the preservation of ecological values eventually (Hayes and Morrison-Saunders, 2007; ten Kate et al., 2004).

3

An ROD is the document where the main factors to reach the final environmental authorization decision on a project are presented by the approving agency.

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What are the reasons leading to compensation practice neglect, particularly in coastal development projects? Arguably, low levels of compensation practice gauge how much (or little) we value in fact ecological values as compared to alternative ones, particularly to those that come around development projects. Environmental values are not felt as urging us to preserve them, and much less as the prevalent when compared to alternative ones, sometimes grouped as socioeconomic, particularly when facing development decision-making. In most cases, ecological compensation is not thought of as a way to fight back present-day accumulating impacts. Unfortunately, not even when we have or get a fairly good knowledge of how the ecology of an area has been impacted. Alternatively, coastal environments may be developed, perhaps somehow unconsciously, as if they were very far away from depletion and safe from any significant loss. Partly due to the hiding effect of marine waters on all that happens underneath them, or to the fact that observation points from the coastline to open sea prevail over those allowing to observe the development on the coastline itself. So has development been implemented along the Mediterranean coast in Spain, up to the point of earning a particularly formal warning from the European Union on the impressive accumulated loss of the quality of these environments4. The accumulation mechanisms work also at a local scale over longer periods of time (European Commission, 1999; Race and Fonseca, 1996; Therivel and Ross, 2007). Even when projects and other human developments transforming the shoreline seem not to change the land significantly when separately considered, the change is evident eventually, as small impacts build up. A sequence of old photographs up to the present shows how the Urola estuary was in 1870, and how it compares to present day. (Figure 4).

4

“whereas the natural Mediterranean island and coastal areas of Spain have suffered extensive destruction in the last decade as cement and concrete have saturated these regions in a way which has affected not only the fragile coastal environment — much of which is nominally protected under the Habitats/Natura 2000 and Birds Directives, such as urbanisations in Cabo de Gata (Almería) and in Murcia — but also the social and cultural activity of many areas, which constitutes a tragic and irretrievable loss to their cultural identity and heritage as well as to their environmental integrity, and all this primarily because of the absence of supra-municipal planning or regional planning guidelines placing reasonable limits on urban growth and development, set on the basis of explicit criteria of environmental sustainability, and because of the greed and speculative behavior of certain local and regional authorities and members of the construction industry who have succeeded in deriving massive benefits from their activities in this regard, most of which have been exported” (European Parliament 2009).

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Fig. 4. Urola estuary: past and present. (A) 1870; (B) around 1910, low tide; (C) around 1910, high tide; (D) around 1930; (E) and (F) at present time. Source for figures 4A to 4D: http://usuarios.multimania.es/fotoantigua/index.html

Similar processes have transformed in the past decades many of the estuaries in the Basque Country, to their present state (Figure 5).

Fig. 5. Current appearance of different estuaries in the Basque Country, including the studied area and places nearby: (A) Urdaibai, one of the best preserved estuaries (B) Deba, (C) Urola, (D) Oria, (E) Urumea, (F) Oiarzun.

But the drawbacks may be found not only in the way present-day society deals with ecological losses. They are also internal to the theory (and practice) of compensation, whose frailties show up mainly when some particular cases, or particular impacts, are faced. In the case here presented, how to compensate for the damage caused in the studied area? Moreover, what is ecological damage, and what is ecological change? Up to what a point an environmental change is an ecological damage? The building of the seawall has changed the water dynamics in the estuarine area, the areas and rate of sand deposition, the shoreline front at the - 81 -

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nearby beach, and the way freshwater and marine water mix when meeting at the mouth of the estuary. The coastal landscape has changed also, as well as the views and viewsheds, particularly from the beach. How to measure the loss of value, and how to measure the value to compensate them, especially if we do not have detailed studies of the ecological state of the estuary prior to the last development? It seems that we keep reverting to socio-economic compensation only, when any. Apart from environmental opponents, the breakwater construction and port improvement were well received by the local population, as they expected an improved quality of the port facilities and accesses. And, complex as we are as a society, this is but a new example of how we build our development upon the quality loss of the environment.

6. CONCLUSIONS The historical ecological quality loss of the small Urola River estuary in the Basque Country, Spain, has been graphically shown as an example of the progressive ecological quality loss experienced along coastal environments in this country, enlightening some potential reasons that underlay this phenomenon. The ecological quality loss takes place both during long-lasting periods of time acting on small places, and during shorter periods over long stretches of coastline, even to the point of completely changing the original environments. The contrast between how we react, as a society and in the case-study presented, either to economic value loss or to ecological value loss may gauge the relative weight we assign to each of these value classes. The relatively lower importance we assign to ecological values, as compared to economic ones, may be linked either to a lack of perception of ecological impact, particularly on estuarine environments, or to the assumption of being far away from any risk of significant loss or depletion. In any case, ecological compensation seems to be underdeveloped partly because we do not think in terms of recovering the overall ecological value of impacted environments; we act, rather, transforming ecological values into economic ones, frequently at the expense of the former. - 82 -

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This explanation is consistent with the data obtained on the low ecological compensation performance for coastal development projects in Spain. Overall, ecological compensation is not practiced as a necessary component of sustainability, as the low rates of it that we have found in Spanish EIA procedures confirm. But even if ecological compensation was accepted as a necessity, it would encounter new obstacles to overcome. Given the complexity of natural dynamisms, it is not easy either to distinguish between ecological change and ecological damage, or to assess or appraise the ecological value lost, and how to replace it. Further development on ecological valuation methodologies would facilitate the assessment of those residual impacts that currently go unnoticed in most cases, thus setting a first necessary step for the implementation of compensatory measures.

REFERENCES Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP), 2009. Business, Biodiversity Offsets and BBOP. An Overview. Washington, D.C. URL: http://bbop.forest-trends.org/guidelines/overview.pdf [last accessed 21 February 2012] Cuperus, R., Bakermans, M.M.G.J., Udo de Haes, H.A., Canters, K.J., 2001. Ecological Compensation in Dutch Highway Planning. Environ. Manage. 27(1), 75-89. doi:10.1007/s002670010135 Efroymson, R.A., Peterson, M.J., Welsh, C.J., Druckenbrod, D.L., Ryon, M.G., Smith, J.G., Hargrove, W.W., Giffen, N.R., Kelly Roy, W., Quarles, H.D., 2008. Investigating habitat value to inform contaminant remediation options: Approach. J. Environ. Manag. 88, 1436-1451. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.07.023 Environmental Protection Authority, 2006. Environmental Offsets Position Statement No. 9. Environmental Protection Authority, Perth. URL: http://www.epa.wa.gov.au/docs/1863_PS9.pdf [last accessed 21 February 2012] European Commission, 1999. Guidelines for the Assessment of Indirect and Cumulative Impacts as well as Impact Interactions. Brussels. URL: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eia/eia-studiesand-reports/guidel.pdf [last accessed 21 February 2012] European Parliament, 2009. Report on the impact of extensive urbanisation in Spain on individual rights of European citizens, on the environment and on the application of EU law, based upon petitions received (2008/2248(INI)). Finkelstein, M., Bakker, V., Doak, D.F., Sullivan, B., Lewison, R., Satterthwaite, W.H., McIntyre, P.B., Wolf, S., Priddel, D., Arnold, J.M., Henry, R.W., Sievert, P., Croxall, J., 2008. Evaluating the potential effectiveness of compensatory mitigation strategies for marine bycatch. PloS one. 3(6):e2480. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002480 Hayes, N., Morrison-Saunders, A., 2007. Effectiveness of environmental offsets in environmental impact assessment: practitioner perspectives from Western Australia. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal. 25(3), 209-218. doi:10.3152/146155107X227126 Hendriks, C.F., 2001. Sustainable Construction. Æeneas, Boxtel. International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), 2009. What Is Impact Assessment? URL: http://www.iaia.org/publications/ [last accessed 21 February 2012]

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International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), UK Institute of Environmental Assessment, 1999. Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment best practice. URL: http://www.iaia.org/publications/ [last accessed 21 February 2012] Jay, S., Jones, C., Slinn, P., Wood, C., 2007. Environmental impact assessment: Retrospect and prospect. Environ. Impact Asses. 27, 287-300. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2006.12.001 ten Kate, K., Bishop, J., Bayon, R., 2004. Biodiversity offsets: Views, experience, and the business case. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK and Insight Investment, London, UK. URL: http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/bdoffsets.pdf [last accessed 21 February 2012] Kiesecker, J.M., Copeland, H.E., McKenney, B.A., Pocewicz, A., Doherty, K.E., 2010a. Energy by Design: Making Mitigation Work for Conservation and Development, in Naugle, D.E. (Ed.), Energy Development and Wildlife Conservation in Western North America. Island Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 157-182. Kiesecker, J.M., Copeland, H., Pocewicz, A., McKenney, B., 2010b. Development by design: blending landscape-level planning with the mitigation hierarchy. Frontiers Ecol. Env. 8(5), 261-266. doi:10.1890/090005 Kiesecker, J.M., Copeland, H., Pocewicz, A., Nibbelink, N., McKenney, B., Dahlke, J., Holloran, M., Stroud, D., 2009. A Framework for Implementing Biodiversity Offsets: Selecting Sites and Determining Scale. BioScience. 59(1), 77-84. doi:10.1525/bio.2009.59.1.11 McKenney, B., 2005. Environmental offset policies, principles, and methods: a review of selected legislative frameworks. Biodiversity Neutral Initiative. URL: http://www.foresttrends.org/publications.php [last accessed 21 February 2012] Van Merwyk, T., Daddo, S., 2009. Structuring environmental offsets for a sustainable advantage. Forest Trends. URL: http://bbop.forest-trends.org/library.php [last accessed 21 February 2012] Pope, J., Annandale, D., Morrison-Saunders, A., 2004. Conceptualising sustainability assessment. Environ. Impact Asses. 24, 595-616. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2004.03.001 Race, M.S., Fonseca, M.S., 1996. Fixing Compensatory Mitigation: What Will it Take? Ecol. Appl. 6(1), 94-101. Smith, P.G.R., Theberge, J.B., 1986. A review of criteria for evaluating natural areas. Environ. Manage. 10(6), 715-734. Therivel, R., Ross, B., 2007. Cumulative effects assessment: Does scale matter? Environ. Impact Asses. 27(5), 365-385. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2007.02.001 Van der Ploeg, S.W.F., Vlijm, L., 1978. Ecological evaluation, nature conservation and land use planning with particular reference to methods used in the Netherlands. Biological Conservation. 14, 197-221. Villarroya, A., Puig, J., 2010. Ecological compensation and Environmental Impact Assessment in Spain. Environ. Impact Asses. 30(6), 357-362. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2009.11.001 Weaver, A., Pope, J., Morrison-Saunders, A., Lochner, P., 2008. Contributing to sustainability as an environmental impact assessment practitioner. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal. 26(2), 91-98. doi:10.3152/146155108X316423 Wood, C., 2003. Environmental impact assessment: a comparative review. Pearson-Prentice Hall, Harlow.

WEB REFERENCES http://usuarios.multimania.es/fotoantigua/index.html [last accessed 21 february 2012]

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ANNEX TO CHAPTER III

Coastal projects 2001-2011

Road projects 2009-2011

Non mentioned

Mentioned

Figure 1. References to residual impacts in the RODs of coastal and road projects.

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SECOND PART SOME PROPOSALS TO PROMOTE ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION WITHIN SPANISH EIA

According to current literature and to the results described in the first part of this thesis, some of the problems that arise when addressing ecological compensation in practice may be associated to the difficulties that entail the valuation of ecological residual impacts and the estimation of the proportional offsets required to balance it (Darbi et al., 2009; Rowe et al., 2009). The following three papers study these issues more deeply, mainly focusing on roads and motorways although the proposals they make may be also applied to other kinds of projects. Specific proposals of ecological offsets that aim to improve the sustainability of a certain project must be based on the value of the residual ecological impact they seek to compensate. And such value depends on the value ascribed to the affected natural environment before and after the implementation of the project. Each of the following chapters focuses on one of three different but closely related issues. Paper IV deals with ecological valuation methodologies, which can be directed towards identifying ecological residual impacts so that they provide a solid basis to propose compensatory measures. Complementarily, paper V studies the attention that is paid to ecological residual impacts within Spanish EIA through the review of RODs of transport infrastructures, and points out some aspects to improve. Lastly, paper VI reviews some of the guidelines that current literature provides on the proposal of ecological offsets and suggests some complementary rules for roads and motorways.

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CHAPTER IV A METHOD FOR THE ECOLOGICAL VALUATION OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND THE RESIDUAL IMPACTS ON IT

Villarroya A, Puig J. 2012. Valuation of residual impacts of roads on landscape ecological units in Navarre, Spain. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management; 55(3):339-353. doi: 10.1080/09640568.2011.597974

Ecological valuation method

This chapter proposes a method for estimating the ecological value of landscape units and highlights its role as a tool to approach residual impact valuation within EIA processes. Nevertheless, the core of the paper is not the method itself, but the discussion on how to achieve the simplicity and transparency the valuation process demands to meet EIA purposes. The article aims to show that an ecological valuation method can be used to strengthen the arguments behind compensation practice, by making easier the perception, registry and valuation of ecological residual impacts. The first step for doing so is to keep the valuation method as simple and transparent as possible while addressing the valuation of something as complex as the natural environment. The method that the paper describes aims to exemplify these theoretical ideas and not to propose a standard on valuation procedures. The paper starts from the observation, through a bibliographic review, that ecological valuation methods have proliferated during the last 25 years (see e.g. Table 1 in paper IV). To some EIA practitioners it might seem a good idea, at first glance, to adopt one of the methods that are described in scientific literature to value ecological (residual) impacts in a scientifically precise way. Nevertheless, EIA practice is subject to time and budget constraints, and besides it must be carried out in a way that allows sound public participation. Thus, methodologies within EIA must adapt to such requirements, and scientific proposals are usually too complex to do so. For this reason, the proposals presented in the following papers look for a balance between the scientific precision that decisionmaking requires, and the practical constraints or demands of EIA procedures.

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VALUATION OF RESIDUAL IMPACTS OF ROADS ON LANDSCAPE ECOLOGICAL UNITS IN NAVARRE, SPAIN ABSTRACT Road construction generally reduces the ecological value of the environment. To recover it, the value of the residual ecological impacts should be counterbalanced by compensation measures, within the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure. Ecological valuation and impact valuation are central to EIA performance. As long as residual impacts are valued, the rationale behind specific compensation proposals may be strengthened. This paper proposes a simple, transparent and adaptable approach to ecological and impact valuation. It aims at improving the perception, compilation and valuation of certain residual ecological impacts, as a means to encourage compensation practice within EIA.

KEYWORDS: ecological valuation; residual impacts; ecological compensation; environmental valuation; landscape units.

impact

assessment

(EIA);

impact

1. INTRODUCTION Road construction causes notable impacts on the ecological value of the environment. Some of these impacts (such as noise, pollutant emissions or land use changes) cannot be completely avoided or reversed through the implementation of either preventive or corrective measures, thus becoming what we call residual impacts. Road construction should provide for appropriate ecological compensation of these impacts, in order to preserve the overall ecological value undiminished. The valuations are simply the relative weights we give to the various aspects of the decision problem (Costanza 2000). When decisions have to be made on whether or not a project ought to be implemented, the environment and the impacts caused on it may be valued using of two main complementary approaches: ecological valuation, and socio-economic valuation (Van der Ploeg and Vlijm 1978; Smith and Theberge 1986, Efroymson et al. 2008). This article focuses in the ecologic side of the value of the environment and of the impacts on it. Once the decision to compensate is taken, the definition of ecological compensatory measures faces an added problem to that of selecting either preventive or corrective measures. Compensation practice should counterbalance

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the residual impact, the lost ecological value. Yet, the rationale behind the proposal of compensatory measures lacks frequently systematization, such as an appropriate reference to residual impacts, as it has been occasionally reported in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) frameworks (Villarroya and Puig 2010). The selection and design of compensation measures should seek to balance the value of the residual ecological impacts. Correspondingly, the value assigned to the residual impacts should match the irretrievable loss of ecological value after the project and all of the possible corrective measures have been implemented. Both ecological evaluation and impact evaluation have long been under discussion (Beattie 1995, Bingham et al. 1995, Geneletti 2002, Nakagoshi and Kondo 2002, Cloquell-Ballester et al. 2006, Efroymson et al. 2008, Niemeijer and de Groot 2008). But, as Costanza et al. (1997) point out: “[…] although ecosystem valuation is certainly difficult and fraught with uncertainties, one choice we do not have is whether or not to do it. […] as long as we are forced to make choices, we are going through the process of valuation.” Ecological valuation and ecological impact valuation are central to EIA performance. The difference between the ecological value of the environment with or without the project implementation shows us the value of the ecological impact. As long as residual ecological impacts are valued, the rationale behind specific compensation proposals may be strengthened. Focusing on roads, this paper proposes a simple, transparent and adaptable approach to ecological valuation and impact valuation. Based on land units valuation (see section 3) and orthophotograph interpretation, it aims to improve the perception, compilation and valuation of residual impacts, as a means to encourage compensation practice within EIA. In any case, no attempt is made in this article at systematizing the choice of compensation measures once the residual impact has been pointed out. Our approach does not pay attention to all of the residual impacts. It rather focuses on the record and graphic representation of some ecological values and impacts that can be expressed through mappable land units. We focus on those residual impacts, as they can be easily perceived, understood, and presented to the public through maps and orthophotography. More ambitious and demanding - 96 -

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attempts that might prove impractical at present should be reserved for EIA contexts more committed to the preservation of the overall ecological value. This approach, although limited, may foster the practice of well-reasoned compensation initiatives in those EIA frameworks where residual impacts are frequently admitted, or even unnoticed, and remain uncompensated.

2. ECOLOGICAL VALUATION IN EIA Subjectivity is a main challenge any valuation approach has to face. It is an inherent component of each evaluation and cannot be eliminated (Geneletti 2003). But it can be delimited, distinguishing as much as possible objective components (as those allowing to prepare classifications) from subjective components (as those assessing the relative value of each category) throughout the valuation process, as Wathern et al. (1986) advise to do. Not being a problem in itself, the subjective components of the valuation process ought to be made as transparent as possible in participatory frameworks such as EIA. Assuming that all assessment decisions, and their basis, should be open and accessible (Ridgway et al. 1996 cited Morrison-Saunders and Bailey 2000), we adopt the approach that the reader should be able to follow the investigation step by step (Hylmö and Skärbäck 2006), as we agree with Costanza (2000) that “Society can make better choices about ecosystems if the valuation issue is made as explicit as possible.” Transparency calls for simple methods (i.e., easy to be understood and to be implemented), because “In short, transparency assumes the availability of “userfriendly” information that is not misleading, cannot be misunderstood, nor is easily misinterpreted” (Kakonge 1998). In EIA practice, transparency in the decision making process becomes one of the fundamental principles to reach an effective implementation (Sadler 1996). In addition, although subjectivity can never be eliminated, the results of an evaluation may become more credible to the public if they are obtained by the application of an a-priori defined methodology (Antunes

et al. 2001), provided it is made entirely explicit to the public. Any environment contains unique and specific ecological features, people and values. It seems not possible or sensible to propose a completely standardized, - 97 -

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closed or rigid valuation approach. In 2002 Nakagoshi and Kondo came even to state that “Standard methods for the evaluation of natural environments […] have not been established”. Valuation systems should adapt to the particularities of the ecology, the people and the values of every particular environment. Many methodologies have been proposed to assess the value of the environment. A review of selected approaches that might be of use in EIA (even though they might have been designed primarily for other purposes) has been conducted (see Table 1). Bearing particular aspects of these methodologies in mind, we designed a valuation approach to strengthen the rationale behind impact evaluation and compensation practice in EIA.

What seeks to value the method? Ecology and ecosystems

Landscape

Conservation suitability

Biodiversity Impacts

Examples Tubbs and Blackwood 1971 Yapp 1973 Ten Brink et al 1991 — General Method for Description and Evaluation of Ecosystems (AMOEBE) Rossi and Kuitunen 1996 IUCN 1991 in Ruijgrok 2000 — Ecosystem Classification Method (ECM) Bureau Waardenburg 1993 in Ruijgrok 2000 — Visualisation of Quality of Roadsides method (VQRS) Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries 1996 in Ruijgrok 2000 — Ecological loss due to roads method A73 Ruijgrok 2000 — Multi-Criteria Valuation method (MCV) Gómez-Sal et al 2003 White and Maurice, u.d. in Efroymson et al 2008 — Critical Ecosystem Assessment Model (CrEAM) Missouri Resource Assessment Partnership, 2004 in Efroymson et al 2008 — Critical Ecosystem Assessment Model (CrEAM) Efroymson et al 2008 — Habitat Evaluation Procedures Efroymson et al 2008 Anglieri and Toccolini 1993 Lee et al 1999 Martínez-Vega et al 2003 Martínez-Vega et al 2007 Gehlbach 1975 Goldsmith 1975 Wright 1977 Giménez-Luque and Gómez-Mercado 1999 Nakagoshi and Kondo 2002 Ten Brink 2000; Van der Perk and de Groot 2000; ten Brink 2007— Natural Capital Index (NCI) Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries 1996 in Ruijgrok 2000 — Ecological loss due to roads method A73 Nunes et al 2001 — Ecological effect measurement method

Table 1. Valuation methods and approaches selected.

Our proposal presents its results both as valued land units (see section 3) on orthophotographs and as data tables, to fit within the EIA framework. Maps and orthophotographs allow impact location and provide a basis for impact quantification, as well as for public participation1. The proposal seeks also to be - 98 -

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easily implemented, while avoiding an oversimplification beyond the minimum acceptable requirements of precision and resolution. Following Munda et al. (1994): “In choosing a set of evaluation criteria, two main tendencies can be distinguished. On one hand, one may wish to build a decision model as close as possible to the real-world problem; this may increase the number of evaluation criteria to a level such that its applicability becomes almost impossible. On the other hand, one may wish to use a small number of criteria so that the model is simpler and faster to use; this may bring to an oversimplification of the model used.” The coming sections clarify the criteria and rationale followed to proceed with the valuation approach here presented.

3. DESCRIPTION OF THE ECOLOGICAL VALUATION APPROACH

3.1. INTRODUCTION Usually, no piece of land is internally homogeneous. Consequently, within any delimited area, zones of different assigned ecological value can be pointed out and mapped or drawn on orthophotographs. Our approach starts by enclosing the land directly affected by the proximity of the road project within a band alongside the road. Secondly, smaller zones are delimited within it, usually irregular in shape. Each of these zones shares an important ecological trait that makes it different from those around. The ecological feature chosen to delimit these smaller and relatively homogeneous zones has been the dominating vegetation and/or land use, which deeply characterize their ecological quality (see Figure 2). Each zone is differently perceived to the surrounding ones, and can be readily mapped or drawn. People with no particular environmental expertise may do it, as well as understand and interpret the resulting map or orthophotograph to the extent of their knowledge of the land. These zones have been called land units, and are delimited either by the surrounding units or by the limits of the band. An ecological value is assigned to each land unit, through two consecutive steps: - 99 -

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(1) As we deal with natural and semi-natural environments, each land unit is assigned a base value class according to the dominant vegetation. (2) When necessary, the base value is modified to obtain a final value class, according to secondary traits that may add up to the formerly assigned base value, or take away from it. Ecological value classes have been defined ranging from class “A” (maximum ecological quality value) to class “J” (minimum value). This classification does not apply to urban environments and similar ones (a small fraction of our study area), which are assigned a specific class, “U”. Those units having been assigned the lowest class may still have some ecological value, and they keep the potential to be ecologically improved. The specific valuation criteria may be changed, as above mentioned, to adapt to specific ecological features that differ from the ones we face in our particular case application.

3.2. BASE VALUE Table 2 shows the base value assigned to the land units within the area of study. Base values range from class “B” to class “I”. “A” (maximum value) and “J” (minimum value) classes are excluded here. Class “A” and “J” may not be assigned paying attention only to dominant vegetation, but also to some of the value modifiers dealt with below. Again, alternative tables might be elaborated for differing environments.

BASE VALUE CLASS ASSIGNMENT Vegetation characteristics Climax Sub-climax Other High land cover (neither climax nor sub-climax vegetation) Medium land cover

Forest and woodland Shrub land Pasture / herbaceous Forest and woodland Shrub land Pasture / herbaceous

Low land cover Scant land cover

Value Class B C D E G E F G H I

Table 2. Base value classes assigned to the land units within the area of study.

The highest base values apply to those units showing climax vegetation, which may be defined for our purposes as the most mature state that vegetation would eventually reach on a given site in the absence of human action. Sub-climax vegetation units follow them in assigned value, as sub-climax vegetation may be - 100 -

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understood as the stage immediately preceding a climax. The recovery after the loss of the climax and sub-climax vegetation in any of these units would either be very difficult, or take a long period of time to restore, thence their assigned high value. Even though real land units could rarely meet the climax or sub-climax definition requirements, we do find in our region vegetation areas that are usually tagged as “climax vegetation”, as it happens with well-preserved forests (even though they may have experienced some use in the past), in contrast to crops or pastures. The remaining units are classified paying attention firstly to the vegetation cover rate they present (see Table 3). Four categories can be distinguished: 

Scant vegetation cover: Vegetation covers less than 15% of the unit.



Low vegetation cover: Vegetation covers between 15% and 30%.



Medium vegetation cover: Vegetation covers between 30% and 70%.



High vegetation cover: Vegetation covers more than 70%. Those units with scant or low vegetation cover (≤30%) are assigned the

lowest base value. When the vegetation cover exceeds 30%, the base value is assigned according to the vegetation physiognomy within the unit. Three physiognomies have been distinguished in our case, following the criteria set by the available vegetation map of the area (Olano et al. 2003): 

Forest: tree species cover > 20% of the land surface.



Shrub land: shrubs cover > 20%, tree cover  20%.



Pasture: herbaceous formations dominate; tree and shrub cover  20%.

Land Cover / Physiognomy

High (+ +)

Medium (+)

Forest and Woodland (+ + + + + + + (D) +)

+ + + + (E)

Shrub land (+ +)

+ + + + (E)

+ + + (F)

Pasture / Herbaceous

+ + (G)

+ (G)

Table 3. Base value assignment criteria. The sign “+” indicates comparative added contribution to ecological quality. “High” land cover adds ecological quality when compared to “medium” land cover. Seemingly, forests and woodland usually add ecological quality when compared to shrub land.

Setting aside other criteria, usually the bigger the size of the vegetation, the longer it has taken to reach its present appearance, the higher its ecological

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complexity, and the longer it takes to recover it when lost. So the highest value is assigned to forest, followed by shrub land. The lowest value is assigned to pasture. The value assigned to those units showing high and medium vegetation cover has been obtained by combining the variables ‘land cover’ and ‘dominating vegetation physiognomy’, as detailed in Table 3. ‘Land cover’ acts as a modifier of the value set primarily by ‘physiognomy’, except for pastures, which are always assigned the same base value.

3.3. BASE VALUE MODIFIERS The base value class of each unit is assigned by its dominating vegetation. But the final value class depends also on complementary criteria, elements or features that do not exclude each other. They may complement, and add up together and to the base value to get the final value for each unit. Notwithstanding, and in order to simplify the following explanations, each modifier is going to be considered by itself.

i. Elements, criteria and features that may add up ecological value to land units. a. Ecological protection status. When a unit belongs to land protected for ecological reasons (wildlife, biodiversity…), it may be assigned to a higher ecological value class, even the highest (class ‘A’). b. Natural features of ecological interest. They may add up to the base value class because they improve, e.g., the habitat characteristics (caves that may act as a shelter place for highly valuable wildlife species, ponds and lakes, streams and rivers…). The value assigned to a unit will increase with the number, extension or importance of such features (see Table 4).

ii. Elements, criteria and features that may take away ecological value to land units. b. Poor phytosanitary state. Plant diseases, pests, recent wildfires, and other causes may diminish the ecological value of a unit in varying degrees:

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i. Plant diseases / Pests. When incidental, they may lower the unit value from the base value to a lower class. If prevalent across the area, they may lower the value to any of the two following classes. ii. Recent wildfire. If the unit shows no evident and prevalent signs of regeneration after a wildfire, its value may be lowered to any of the 5 classes following the base value class. If widespread regeneration can be observed, the value assigned will be lowered in up to two classes. c. Presence of invasive species. Following IUCN (2010), they are “species introduced outside its normal distribution. Its establishment and spread modify ecosystems, habitats, or species”. In an incipient state of invasion, they may lower the value to a lower class. If prevalent across the area, they may lower the value in two classes. d. Impacting human activities. Some human activities diminish the naturalness and ecological value of the unit. The human impact depends on the activity and its timing. Three cases are considered here: i. Tree plantation of non-native species. 1. When native species have almost completely and naturally substituted the non-native species originally planted, the assigned base value is not modified. 2. Recent non-native tree plantations are assigned up to two quality classes lower than the base value class. ii. Grazing. When the unit hosts grazing cattle, the final value class assigned may be up to two quality classes lower than the base value class. iii. Agriculture. When the unit contains crops or farm fields, the final value class assigned may be up to two quality classes lower than the base value class.

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iv. Housing and other buildings and infrastructures, other than roads (see following section) and urban areas (which are assigned ‘U’ class). 1. When they are scarce in number and area occupied, the base value class remains as the final value class of these units. 2. When they are frequent either because of their relative size or for any other reason, the class assigned to the unit by the base value may be lowered to the following class. v. Distance to the nearest road. Roads are mentioned apart because they are a special concern of this work. Many of their effects fade as the distance to the road increases. No agreement has been reached on how to map such decreasing influence. Having in mind this background, we distinguish between three categories: 1. When the unit is located farther away than 75 m from the road, the base value remains as the final value (75 m is the smallest distance of affection proposed for high density traffic roads, following Reijnen et al. 1997). 2. When the unit is located within 75 m from the road, the final value class may be lowered to the following class. 3. When the unit is crossed by the road, the final value class may be lowered to the two following classes. At this point we would like to insist on the adaptability of the approach. We do not intend these criteria should be strictly followed. We rather wish to reason and make our criteria explicit, to make possible to change them when needed.

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BASE VALUE POTENTIAL MODIFIERS Environmental feature / element Ecological protection status (variable regulatory frameworks) Natural features of interest

Phytosanitary state

e.g.: National Parks, Nature reserves, Protected landscapes, Sites of Community Importance (SCIs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Important Plant Areas (IPAs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), (…) Singular rock outcrops, waterfalls, special features improving the habitat characteristics for wildlife valuable species…

Diseases / pests

Incidental or non-prevalent Prevalent

Recent wildfire

No widespread regeneration observed Widespread regeneration in process

Presence of invasive species

Incidental or non-prevalent Prevalent

Some impacting human activities

Tree plantation of nonnative species

Already close to a natural state Non close to a natural state

Grazing Agriculture Housing, buildings… Distance to the nearest road

Occasional Frequent >75 m