Impacts of Transportation Infrastructure on Biodiversity in Asia
The world is a highly paved planet. By 2050, there will be about 5 million kilometers of new road lanes and 300,000 kilometers of new railway tracks. To address potential negative environmental impacts of these massive infrastructures, USAID has developed the project, Linear Infrastructure Safeguards in Asia (LISA). Among its most important activities is the conduct of spatial analyses at both coarse and fine scales, which are important in characterizing LI threats to biodiversity and, consequently, in prioritizing sites for safeguards. Clearly, high profile ecosystems are threatened by proposed LI but so are many lower-profile ecosystems with similar biodiversity value. Climate change also causes significant shifts in species distributions. It is often said that animals can respond to climate change in three ways: move, adapt, or die. Therefore, a priority strategy is to increase connectivity between natural areas and provide lands where animals can migrate along. These include riparian areas, allowing animals to reach good habitats.