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Katharina Lorenz excels in University of Twente course in "EIA/SEA using spatial decision support tools"

Katharina Lorenz undertook a six-week distance learning course in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) using Spatial Decision Support Tools at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) at the University of Twente, Netherlands, in November / December 2013. The course is based on task-based learning,  integrating theory and practice, and covered the fundamental principles of EIA and SEA and a wide range of practical environmental assessment methods. A total of 5 modules were taught covering the topics of EIA concepts, principles, procedures and process; SEA; Impact assessment methods and GIS; Spatial Decision Support tools in EIA & SEA; and Economic valuation of environmental impacts.

One of the assignments involved multi-criteria analysis of a proposed road bypass for Kampala, Uganda. Three road options were analysed by creating an impact matrix identifying the potential effects of the proposed routes. Different policies / visions were applied to rank the routes. The ranking was then tested for robustness in a sensitivity analysis.  A further assignment involved spatial multi-criteria analysis assessing best locations for industry and housing in the Twente conurbation, Netherlands.  An environmental vulnerability assessment was conducted to identify the best locations for new industry based on the themes of Ecology, Water, Soil, Landscape, Culture-history, Quality of life and Mobility using different policy visions.

Katharina achieved an overall grade of A+ in the course, an exceptional achievement in view of the fact that it was undertaken in parallel with meeting her responsibilities at ERA. A Certificate of Competence was awarded by the University of Twente. The course forms part of the Master of Science course in Natural Resources Management. A share of the training was supported by ERA as part of Katharina's professional development.

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Last Update: 1 May 2014