Constraints mapping is used to identify potential conflicts between a project design concept/proposals and the environment.
This is not only a useful step to inform a client of the realistic outcomes of their project but, when used in the early stages of project planning, it can help guide the project towards impact avoidance (satisfying a key EIA objective) and increase the potential for incorporating built-in, rather than “bolt-on”, design measures. Collectively, such steps usually pay dividends to the client in terms of cost savings.
Constraint mapping should be regularly refreshed when new information emerges and revisited throughout the design development and EIA processes.
Constraint mapping can also:
inform the client of potential risks to the project;
describe how to anticipate and develop a strategy to deal with potential objections;
provide useful information to inform early stakeholder discussions; and
aid in defining the scope of the EIA.