Course #9: “Development by Design” Options for Greening the Transportation Infrastructure




Roads and other linear transportation infrastructure such as railways that are essential for connecting people and centers of trade often pose the greatest challenge for maintaining integrity of the natural landscapes. More investment in the transportation sector in the future is predicted to happen in most countries and more in developing countries where much of the biodiversity exists. Ensuring connectivity of landscapes and sustainability of transportation infrastructure is a critical issue for biodiversity conservation and should be a mandatory demand for financing them. The underlying focus of the course is to strengthen linkages between economic priorities and ecological solutions to overcome the challenges associated with the coexistence of linear infrastructure and protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services as a natural capital.

The course will focus on the challenges and opportunities that the transportation infrastructure brings for nature conservation; discuss success stories; and prospect how connectivity conservation approaches, new thinking, and technology can better harmonize them with the surrounding environment.

This two-day course will also highlight the “development by design” approaches for encouraging eco-friendly infrastructure for connecting people and nature. The course would draw on the need for framing policies that can drive development by design for green economy.

Level: Foundation/Intermediate
Prerequisites: A basic understanding of impact assessment and ecological concepts related to biodiversity conservation, natural capital and valuation of ecosystem services.
Language: English
Duration: 2 days (24-25 May)
Price: US$575
Min/Max: 10-30

Asha Rajvanshi, Senior Professional Fellow, Wildlife Institute of India (India)

Vinod B. Mathur, Director, Wildlife Institute of India (India)

Karma Yangzom, Senior Environment Specialist, Asian Development Bank (Philippines)

Norris Dodd, Wildlife Connectivity & Biodiversity Specialist (USA)


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. Ashais 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), Washington D.C.(USA) and Brisbane (Australia) from 2005 to 2019. She is also the recipient of IAIA lifetime Achievement Award for 2019.
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 B. 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), Washington D.C. (USA) and Brisbane (Australia) 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).


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.


Norris Dodd has 20 years of experience as a road ecologist.  He has been providing his professional services to the Asian Development Bank since 2014 as a biodiversity/wildlife international expert on transportation projects. He is currently working on a new railway project in Bangladesh and assisting in developing ecological solution to address the impacts on wildlife species and habitats.  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 2 grown daughters.