Methodology for Environmental Impact Assessment: A Fuzzy Logic based Approach

A. Mofarrah and T. Husain (Canada)


Fuzzy logic, Environmental impact assessment, multi criteria decision-making


Decision making in environmental impact assessment (EIA) depends not only on scientific data but also on political factors and social acceptability. The information related to EIA is often limited and imprecise. Subjective judgment plays an important role in EIA, which leads to a high degree of inaccuracy and uncertainty in the final decision. Generally, traditional multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) methods used in EIA cannot provide good decision support because they are incompetent at the modeling of qualitative human-thinking processes. On the other hand, fuzzy logic is a widely recognized tool that has the ability to model both quantitative and qualitative human thought in the analysis of complex systems and decisions. Thereby, decision making using fuzzy logic could be a promising tool for EIA. The objective of the present study is to develop a framework utilizing knowledge based fuzzy rules to measure the significance of environmental impacts for development projects. The proposed methodology uses 10 indicators and 15 sub indicators to evaluate the environmental impact. The application of the methodology is demonstrated by a preliminary case study related to the Jizan economic city in Saudi Arabia.

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