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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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Mainstreaming Biodiversity within Road Infrastructure Projects - A PIARC Technical Report

The development of transport infrastructure is one of the basic elements of the development of countries and their economies. Economic development is often accompanied by environmental protection problems, including biodiversity impacts, because they have not been taken enough into account. Preventing land fragmentation, preserving biodiversity and continuity of ecological corridors is one of the most important challenges for transport infrastructure stakeholders.
The report is a global guide for specialists and decision makers planning, implementing, and managing transport infrastructure. Improperly prepared road network development plans and projects may lead to deep changes in their surroundings. In addition to adverse impacts on humans, impacts on defragmentation and biodiversity are often final. Road and traffic impacts can often lead to irreversible changes. Repair attempts can often fail or involve long-term repair programs with significant economic impact.
Regardless of location in the world, several biodiversity-related activities are universal. These activities and measures were included in the report as recommendations for both newly developed transport solutions and those that have already been created, are exploited and have a significant impact on biodiversity. The report, prepared by members of TC 3.4.3 "Road and road transport impact on wildlife habitats and their interconnections", is based mainly on their experiences from many countries. In accordance with the already known principles that are used in transport solutions, it promotes the basic principle "avoid impact and if it is impossible, apply mitigation measures and, if necessary, also apply compensatory measures". Necessary action in the management of biodiversity also includes monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures used.
The full report is a set of recommendations to maintain biodiversity and has been prepared in such a way that it can be used by specialists who make decisions in different countries, regardless of the species and climate. The basis is the interaction of road and traffic, which in practice has the same effect regardless of the country. Differences may occur only in the case of elements of the environment creating the biodiversity of the road surroundings. These cases are illustrated by examples from different countries on all continents. These are primarily the collected and described experiences of countries that are advanced as well as those that have recently started activities in the protection of biodiversity. This full report and case studies prepared in separate documents, are based on the experience of TC 3.4.3 members and their contacts with organisations dealing with biodiversity. The report is supplemented by the Case Studies Appendix, which supplements individual issues in the form of examples in a separate document, so that the theory can be read alongside the case studies. These are mainly experiences from European Union countries, Canada, and Japan. The lack of case studies from LMICs is a limitation of this report, but we have taken care to include these countries in our recommendations.

Information sheet

  • Date: 2023
  • Author(s): Comité technique / Technical Committee / Comité Técnico 2020-2023 3.4 Infrastructures et transport routiers plus durables pour l’environnement / Environmental Sustainability in Road Infrastructure and Transport / Sostenibilidad ambiental en infraestructura vial y transporte
  • Domain(s): Environment
  • Type: 2023R44EN - Technical Report
  • PIARC Ref.: 2023R44EN
  • ISBN: 978-2-84060-832-5
  • Number of pages: 72