Environmental monitoring

Photo: Niels Åge Skovbo
COWI helps our customers in planning, executing and reporting environmental monitoring. In doing so we use up-to-date field equipment and GIS, databases and satellite/aerial imagery.

Environmental management plans (EMP) are used to guide the development of agriculture, industry, infrastructure and urban areas to avoid valuable and sensitive ecosystem and protect them for the future. This can only be done after detailed environmental monitoring and mapping.

Avoiding environmental impacts

At the project level, environmental baseline surveys are a necessary first step in an environmental impacts assessment (EIA). It is an essential element in the scoping stage and allows the adjustment of the project design to avoid undesirable impacts and to minimise the need for mitigation measures.

COWI has planned and managed environmental monitoring and mapping for a wide range of project types. Typical monitoring studies are:

  • Monitoring of air and water quality and aquatic flora and fauna
  • Development and implementation of environmental monitoring and information systems for regions and entire countries
  • Environmental sensitivity mapping in coastal areas (e.g. for oil spill impact)
  • Land use mapping in vulnerable areas (e.g. in groundwater infiltration areas)
  • Mapping and classification of biotopes in rural areas
  • Mapping of habitat changes in connection with nature restoration.

Using GIS, databases and aerial imagery

COWI has developed specific expertise in planning and managing environmental monitoring in the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environment. Data is stored in standard databases and GIS. Satellite and aerial image analyses are used to extend the land-based surveys. GIS is used to prepare maps and to rank environmental values and sensitivities of the habitats by analysing the overlapping layers of environmental parameters such as species, coverage, landscape, soil, human activities etc.

LAST UPDATED: 02.12.2016