Environmental assessment for wetland management in Sri Lanka

Amarasinghe, MD 1994, Environmental assessment for wetland management in Sri Lanka , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The objectives of the study are to identify an appropriate environmental assessment framework for the management of wetlands in Sri Lanka and to determine its practicability under the prevailing conditions of data availability and expertise. Eight functions and values are used to characterize wetland environments and the baseline conditions are evaluated by the capacity to perform each function. Questionnaire checklists were used to screen the potential functions of wetlands. Environmental parameters appropriate to predict the functional status were identified and scaled-weighted checklists were adopted to ascertain their relative magnitude. The relative contribution (weight) of each variable to the functional capacity was determined using a pairwise comparison technique. The products of scale and weight for each predictor variable of a function were added, expressed as a percentage to the maximum possible functional capacity value and then converted to a 1-10 scale. Social significance of each function was determined using a questionnaire checklist and interpretation keys and expressed in a 1-3 scale. The products of percentage functional value and social significance values were aggregated to derive a total wetland value. For comparison with other wetlands, total value was expressed as a percentage overall value against a hypothetical 'super wetland'. Baseline data on Tabbowa, a man-made freshwater wetland in north western Sri Lanka were collected and analyzed to test the applicability of the methodology. It was found that secondary data gathered from various sources and the primary data generated through field surveys were sufficient to evaluate the major wetland functions. Impacts of a proposed reclamation project on Muthurajawela/ Negombo Lagoon tidal wetland, on the west coast of Sri Lanka, were assessed by determining the change in wetland value with the project. Impacts were identified using network analysis and an alternative reclamation site was evaluated by comparing the aggregate percentage impact on the wetland functional capacity. Improvements to the existing EIA system in Sri Lanka are presented and further enhancement in the process through economic evaluation methods is discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Pugh Thomas, M (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Funders: National Aquatic Resources Agency
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 14:55
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:23
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/61268

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