There is a 3-step process to mitigating impacts on ecology, biodiversity, and cultural heritage sites –
Step 1 - AVOID
Step 2 - MINIMISE
Step 3 - OFFSET
Watch and take notes on the video below, to gain a better understanding of what exactly these terms mean for an environmental planner.
Consider whether you’ll need to change the alignment to bypass sacred sites or endangered species, and the repercussions of that change: this could include more studies, possible impacts on residents, and land resumptions.
Alternatively, as we've already heard from our mentor, Vanessa, mitigation strategies could include constructing dedicated culverts, glider poles and barrier poles for impacted fauna, as well as monitoring and reporting requirements.
Scarred trees can be photographed and catalogued prior to removal in consultation with registered Aboriginal parties, and by a qualified archaeologist, whereas artefact scatters can be salvaged prior to construction.
As a last resort, you’ll want to offset the impacts you can’t avoid. This is where impacts can’t be avoided. Developers might, for example, allocate funds to compensate for impacts on the environment and cultural heritage along the alignment route. This could look something like this:
Check out more about offset management here.