Renewing the impact assessment of land consolidation : the contribution of ecosystem services

Yvan Brahic et al.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is the cornerstone of the land consolidation (LC) project process. In the Walloon context, SEA has to be renewed for technical and legal reasons. The concept of ecosystem services (ES) offers promising perspectives for more multifunctional and stakeholders-oriented LC projects. In the context of the LC pilot project of Forville, a new methodology of SEA integrating ES was tested. ES were integrated within all steps of SEA (i.e. scoping, baseline, impact assessment, measures of avoidance, reduction and mitigation, monitoring). The results from this ES analysis show that, thanks to the LC project, the ES relative value associated to agriculture production would increase due to the improvement of the accessibility of parcels. The soil loss would decrease by 20.5%. Eighteen kilometres of walking paths could be restored throughout the project area increasing outdoor leisure offer. Finally, landscape connectivity would increase thanks to the restoration, of grass strips, buffer strips and fishway setting up. The integration of ES in the SEA process led to a more dynamic approach thanks to participation and the use of various scenarios. This new methodology is a tool to debate about the added value of the LC. The method can be used, as well, for ex-ante and ex-post assessments of LC projects.

Event: Symposium on Land Consolidation and Readjustment for Sustainable Development