Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment
Cod: 21088
Department: DCET
Scientific area: Environmental Science and Technology
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 26

This course unit introduces the process and procedures of Environmental Impact Assessment in Portugal, taking into consideration the need to be ahead and the public participation.

1.  Instruments for environmental policy
2. Environmental impact assessment
3.  Strategic Environmental Assessment

1. Interpreting and critically analysing Environmental Impact Assessment legislation and Strategic Environmental Assessment Legislation.
2. Understanding Environmental Impact Assessment process and its limitations.
3. Ensuring that the process is handled as swiftly as possible, while developing the project.
4. Being aware of the importance of ensuring the participation of different key players and public participation.
5. Understanding and critically analysing different types of products that may result from Environmental Impact Assessment, namely: Project Scope Plans; Environmental Impact Studies, Environmental Conformity Reports and Monitoring Reports.

This course unit provides fundamental knowledge, necessary for the study of Environmental Impact Assessment, a fundamental preventive tool for environmental policy and territorial planning. Applying this tool is a privileged way of promoting sustainable development, ensuring the protection of the quality of the environment and the quality of life for the Humankind. This course mainly aims at understanding the Environmental Impact Assessment procedures and methods, concerning the importance and application of the environmental policy and decision support tool.
Firstly, we will approach the fundamental EIA concepts, followed by the presentation of the EIA system, referring how the EIA process works, the main involved entities and main products, as well as the importance of public participation along this process. We will also refer to questions that should be considered in EIA planning and management, develop different EIA methods, both in scope definition and impact identification as in impact forecast, impact assessment, comparing alternatives and mitigation. It is also important to mention that the post-assessment (monitoring) phase will also be carried out.
The final module will developed the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and similarities and differences between these two instruments of environmental policy, EIA and SEA.

Partidário, M. R.; Jesus, J. (2003). Fundamentos de Avaliação de Impacte Ambiental. Edição da Universidade Aberta, nº 273, Lisboa.
Study materials to de displayed online at the e-learning platform.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).

Some readings may be in English.