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Course #10.  Ecological Solutions and Planning Options for Greening the Transport Infrastructure





Linear developments including roads, railways, power lines, and canals are the most pervasive features on the land. “Biodiversity-blind” developments often derail economic objectives and counter-conservation goals. Nature-sensitive road, rail, and power lines can deliver win-wins:  providing transportation corridors for moving people and goods, and opportunities for promoting the economy and connecting natural landscapes for wild animal movement.
Impact assessment in its varied forms, including strategic environmental assessment, offers the most appropriate tools for upstreaming biodiversity for implementing smart and green models of linear developments.
The benefits of greening the linear corridors go beyond just biodiversity:  enhanced safety and ecological sustainability, improved connectivity of habitats, and maintenance of ecological coherence of the landscape are other recognizable benefits of “green” over “grey” infrastructure.

The course aims to benefit a wide range of professionals including project planners/engineers, planners, impact assessment practitioners, conservation community, donor agencies, decision makers, and policy makers. This two-day course will highlight the need to switch from traditional to eco-friendly development of varied forms of linear infrastructure.

Level: Foundation to intermediate
Prerequisites: Basic understanding of impact assessment and ecological concepts related to biodiversity conservation, natural capital, and valuation of ecosystem services.
Language: English
Duration: 2 days (27-28 April)
Price: US$520
Min/Max: 15-30

Asha Rajvanshi, Wildlife Institute of India (India)
Vinod B. Mathur, Wildlife Institute of India (India)
Norris Dodd, Consultant (USA)
Karma Yangzom, (Asian Development Bank (Philippines)


Dr. Asha Rajvanshi has a doctorate in Environmental Science. She has been a member of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) faculty for over three decades. She heads the EIA Cell of the Institute. In her capacity as an EIA practitioner, she has led several EIA studies to assess the impacts of development projects in key sectors. As a trainer, she has been actively involved in national and global capacity building initiatives. She has effectively contributed to the development of learning resources and guidance manuals for mainstreaming biodiversity in impact assessment. These are being actively used as tools for professionalizing EIA practice in south Asia. Asha is also providing professional support to the Govt. of India in the environmental appraisal of development projects. She is a member of the several apex federal committees for environmental appraisal and has contributed significantly in the development of accreditation scheme for EIA consulting organizations in India. Asha is a member of the International Association for Impact Assessment, and has served as the Co-Chair of its Biodiversity Section for five years. Asha co-presented IAIA’s pre-conference training courses in Boston (USA), Stavanger (Norway), Seoul (Korea), Perth (Australia), Accra (Ghana), Geneva (Switzerland), Puebla (Mexico), Porto (Portugal), Calgary (Canada), Florence (Italy) and Washington D.C.(USA) from 2005 to 2017. She is currently also a member of the IAIA Professional Development Committee. Asha was a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) for regional/sub-regional assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services for Asia and Pacific region.

Dr. Vinod Mathur holds a Masters’ degree in Forestry and a doctorate in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Oxford. As a faculty member and now Director of the Wildlife Institute of India, he has been actively involved in conducting training and research in the field of natural resource conservation for the last three decades He has also worked as a FAO International Training and Protected Area Planning Consultant in Sri Lanka. He has been responsible for the planning, organization and conduct of training programs for various target groups. Dr. Mathur also has vast experience of conducting environmental assessments and developing mitigation plans for safeguarding critical biodiversity resources. He is also a member of the Environmental Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Government of India for the Coal and Thermal power projects and the National Board of Wildlife. He is the Regional Vice Chair, the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)-South Asia and member of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM). Dr. Mathur is an IAIA member and is actively involved in the CBBIA project of IAIA. Dr. Mathur has co-presented the IAIA’s pre conference training courses jointly with Dr. Asha Rajvanshi in Boston (USA), Stavanger (Norway), Seoul (Korea), Perth (Australia), Accra (Ghana), Geneva (Switzerland), Puebla (Mexico), Porto (Portugal), Calgary (Canada), Florence (Italy) and Washington D.C. (USA)from 2005 to 2017. He is member of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) and the Regional Vice Chair of IPBES MEP (Asia Pacific Region).

Norris Dodd has been employed in the “road ecology” field for 20 years.  He has consulted for the Asian Development Bank since 2014 as a biodiversity/wildlife international expert on transportation projects, currently engaged in Bangladesh on a new railway project; he previously worked in Bhutan.  He is also a senior wildlife scientist on transportation projects for AZTEC/Typsa Engineering.  He worked 29 years for the Arizona Game and Fish Department (USA), the last 15 as a research biologist focused on wildlife-highway relationships.  Norris established a new statewide wildlife connectivity program for the Arizona Department of Transportation.  He and his wife, Rebecca live in the mountains of Arizona where they raised their two grown daughters.

Karma Yangzom is the Senior Environment Specialist in the Transport and Communications Division of the South Asia Regional Department of ADB. Ms. Yangzom has a Master’s Degree in Environment Management from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University. She has been working on environmental assessment and environmental management of transport projects for over 13 years. Of that about 7 years has been in the capacity of an ADB staff. Many of the projects that she is currently working on involves sensitive ecological issues as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation. At present, she is working on implementation of a highway project in Nepal that will have underpasses for Tigers and Rhinos, a railway project in Bangladesh that will have overpasses for elephants and a project completion assessment in Bhutan for a road project that successfully constructed elephant underpasses.