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Critical Habitat Assessments (CHAs) are conducted following the Guidance Note provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The purpose of this step is to determine if any features in the study area qualify as priority biodiversity features or critical habitat. These features will require attention in impact assessment and mitigation planning. This is an assessment of the context in which the development is proposed and therefore does not consider specific impacts at this stage of analysis. To perform this assessment, the list of all features identified for focused study and confirmed to be in the study area, should be tested against certain criteria to determine whether they satisfy the conditions to be called priority biodiversity features or critical habitat.

The criteria and conditions are based on the EU Habitats and Birds Directives, the Bern Convention, and/or draw from IUCN’s Key Biodiversity Area Standard. 

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