Scoping is about determining the scope of an IA. The most important issues for the IA and the best way to address them are identified. A plan (or terms of reference) for conducting the IA is developed in relation to the importance and magnitude of the proposal. Relevant stakeholders may be involved to discuss the potential scope of an IA from different perspectives. The following issues are being addressed:

  • Content (what are the problem’s boundaries and its characteristics; what are the most important impacts, which ones should be neglected? Which indicators should be used to assess them?)
  • Extent and depths of the analysis (what are relevant geographical and time scales?)
  • Methods (which methods should be used to assess the impacts? Should stakeholders be consulted and how?) and
  • Stakeholders (Who/ which groups should be consulted and when?)

Scoping methods generally

  • help to identify key impacts and aspects that need further analysis;
  • help to structure and organize a more detailed assessment;
  • can usually be completed quickly; and
  • do not require significant resources or expertise.