Natural intervention

  • Design-Build Contracts
  • Ecology and Surface Water


Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Technical Specification (Requirement Specifications)

Main Objective: 

Interventions in the natural environment impact biodiversity and the ecological value of an area. In the event of major changes, species or habitats may disappear altogether.

In order to reduce environmental stress on construction sites, unnecessary terrain interventions must be avoided wherever possible, and the execution of construction work should be planned so as to minimise the impact on the area.

Requirement Specification: 

The construction work must be planned and carried out in a way which minimises interventions in the natural environment and terrain, and protects existing vegetation insofar as is possible. Emphasis must be placed on reducing the area affected by the intervention.

Construction sites must be safeguarded in such a way that wildlife is protected from harm

Existing vegetation and other natural environments must be protected through the active use of land protection plans. If a land protection plan has been prepared, the works must be carried out in accordance with this. Breaches of limits and zones requirement special consideration will trigger sanctions. 

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

‘Important habitat types’ means that the site is considered to be very important (A), important (B) or locally important (C) for biodiversity, according to the Norwegian Environment Agency's Handbook 13, Mapping of habitat types - Valuation of biodiversity, Norwegian Environment Agency

The land protection plan describes in detail the organisation and measures for the preservation of vegetation and natural basis on a construction site. The operator is responsible for ensuring that the land protection plan is established, followed and checked. Any breaches of the plan should result in the imposition of sanctions, such as fines.

If the area is subject to an investigation obligation, stresses on the following must be evaluated:

  • species diversity
  • protected nature
  • important habitat types, including marine habitats (in projects where relevant)
  • ecological function of the landscape
  • fauna (big game, small game, birdlife, reptiles, etc.)
  • water bodies
  • peripheral vegetation
  • zones requiring special consideration

This will result in provisions for the specific area which are to be continued in the project. If there is no investigation obligation, it may still be appropriate to submit requirements regarding the natural environment.

Compensatory measures are seen as a last resort in order to avoid the adverse effects of interventions in the natural environment. These are more comprehensive measures than the mitigating measures which minimise adverse impacts during project execution. Consideration should first be given to preventing, limiting or restoring the site/environment.

Related links: 

Published: 25. Nov 2020, Last modified: 26. Nov 2020