Course #3. Multilevel Approach for Biodiversity-Friendly Infrastructure




Infrastructure development has direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts, with impacts extending beyond the immediate surroundings where construction and use occur. Many impacts on biodiversity are long-term, eventually leading to a reduction in available natural habitat, restriction in the movement of fauna, and decline in population sizes of species. The impacts tend to be complex, affecting not only wildlife population dynamics but also ecosystems on which both humans and wildlife depend.

As traditional mitigation approaches based on Environmental Impact Assessments are project-specific, not capturing the impacts of infrastructure on a landscape level, they are not sufficient to halt biodiversity loss. With development continuing at a rapid pace throughout the world, a different approach, i.e. multilevel approach, is required to ensure that infrastructure development is not detrimental to the surrounding environment. It is essential to avoid impacts on biodiversity and, where avoidance is not possible, minimize and mitigate impacts and then compensate for any remaining impacts. The key is to apply this from the onset, i.e. planning stage, throughout the project cycle.

Recognizing that the potential effects of infrastructure development on biodiversity are significant, and that increased attention towards taking into account natural habitat issues is warranted, this course teaches participants how to promote natural habitat and biodiversity protection in infrastructure development utilizing the Mitigation Hierarchy. The course will discuss: the multilevel approach to infrastructure development; upstream tools, such as SEAs and cumulative impact assessment including fragmentation analysis tools; good engineering practices at the project level, such as design of fauna crossings and fish passages; and construction management in sensitive areas.

The target audience for this course would include project level practitioners, such as managers, engineers, EIA experts, and implementers, as well as people involved in the infrastructure decision-making process. Locally, all actors involved in the infrastructure development process, such as public and private EIA practitioners, EIA consultants, and agencies involved in EIA evaluation will find the course beneficial.

Following the course, participants will be able to understand the need for biodiversity-friendly infrastructure, apply the Mitigation Hierarchy at all levels of infrastructure development cycle, and understand the basic engineering approaches for green infrastructure.

Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: General knowledge of the EIA process and an interest in the long term biodiversity impact of infrastructure development
Duration: 1 day (16 November)
Min/Max: 10-25

Juan Quintero, Environmental Engineering Consultants, LLC (USA)

Aradhna Mathur, Independent Consultant (USA)


Juan D. Quintero is a Civil and Environmental Engineer with over 40 years of experience in risk assessment, mitigation, and compensation of environmental and social impacts associated with development projects, especially transport and hydroelectric projects around the world. Juan served as a Senior Environmental Specialist at the Word Bank from 1993 to 2010, in charge of ensuring compliance with World Bank environmental and social safeguard policies in infrastructure projects. He is a specialist in the application of construction environmental management plans and regional, cumulative, and strategic environmental assessments of hydroelectric programs. 

Juan is currently a member of Panel of Experts/independent monitoring teams for several hydroelectric projects, including the 2400 MW Ituango hydroelectric project in Colombia (since 2012), the 305 MW Reventazon Hydroelectric Project in Costa Rica (since 2013), and the 456 MW Chaglla Hydroelectric Project in Peru (since 2012). Other hydroelectric projects include Tumarin in Nicaragua (due diligence for MIGA), Alto Maipo in Chile (Cumulative Impact Assessment for IADB and IFC), Trishuli and Kabeli in Nepal (World Bank environmental specialist), Nandarivatu in Fiji Islands (World Bank environmental specialist), Nam Then II in Lao PDR (World Bank environmental specialist), Yacyreta in Argentina (EIA as consultant and then as World Bank Environmental Specialist), and several run-of-river plants in Vietnam.

Recent publications include “Sustainable Hydropower Development in Latin America”, “Good Dams-Bad Dams”, “Mainstreaming Conservation in Infrastructure Projects”, “Green Infrastructure in Tiger Range Countries: a Multi-Level Approach”, “Protecting Natural Habitats in Road Development” and “Biodiversity Offsets and Infrastructure”; “Mainstreaming Environmental and Social Safeguards in Gas Pipeline Projects: the Bolivia-Brazil GS Pipeline Project”.  Juan is a Certified Assessor for the application of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) Sustainable Protocol for Hydropower Development (sustainability assessment of Hidro-Sogamoso and Canafisto Hydroelectric Projects in Colombia).

Now working as an independent consultant since 2010, Juan’s experience includes: (i) support to infrastructure projects with IADB (roads in Bolivia, Metro in Quito, wind power in Mexico); (ii) preparation of a Manual for JICA on “Protecting Natural Habitats in Infrastructure projects”; (iii);  support to Safeguard Coordination Team in the East Region of the World Bank in charge of preparing manuals for health, education and community development projects; (iv) preparing paper for IADB on Natural Habitats issues in LAC; (v) assessing the Peru EIA system for Bank Information System (BIC); and (vi) delivering training courses at Birmingham University on environmental management of roads (as part of the annual Senior Road Executive Program). He has also prepared a Guide for Sustainable Roads for The Nature Conservancy (2015).

Juan served on the IAIA Board of Directors from 2013-2015. He received the IAIA 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for “significant contributions to impact assessment leading to mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in infrastructure projects around the world” and the IAIA 2001 Regional Award for the “promotion of quality EIAs in Latin America.”


Aradhna Mathur is a conservation biologist with over 13 years of experience, ranging from conducting EIAs, promoting the concept of green infrastructure, and working to minimize illegal wildlife trade and promote wildlife conservation.

As an independent consultant since 2009, Aradhna’s projects have included: (i) developing and promoting the concept of ‘Smart Green Infrastructure’ to ensure infrastructure development is biodiversity friendly with World Bank Global Tiger Initiative; (ii) preparation of a Manual for JICA on protecting Natural Habitats in Infrastructure projects; (iii) reviewing numerous World Bank project for compliance with the environmental safeguards; (iv) reviewing the SEA practice in East Asia for the World Bank; and (v) rapporteur to the UNEP Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the 15th and 16th Conference of Parties at Doha, Qatar (2010) and Bangkok, Thailand (2013).

Recent publications include ‘A Guide to Good Practices for environmentally Friendly Roads’, ‘Green Infrastructure in Tiger Range Countries: a Multi-Level Approach’, ‘Guidance note for infrastructure projects affecting natural habitats’, ‘World Bank SEA experience in East Asia and the Pacific: A tool for environmental safeguarding’, ‘Biodiversity Offsets and Infrastructure’, and ‘CITES and Livelihoods: Converting Words into Action’.