1.1 Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is an independent, stand-alone, and specific scientific process for identifying, quantifying and evaluating the potential impacts and effects of defined actions on ecosystems or their components. It provides a scientifically defensible approach to ecosystem management in the context of development. EcIA should be integrated with environmental impact assessment for projects, strategies or policies that have potential effects on ecosystems or biodiversity features. Good, clear EcIA practice is important for ecologists employed by a project developer or proponent as well as for local authority staff receiving applications and ecologists working for stakeholder organisations or individuals. These Guidelines are intended to be high level and should assist in a range of assessments, large and small, simple and complex. It is expected that, depending on the scale of your project and the ecological complexity of the project site, some sections of the Guidelines will be less relevant than others and some may not be applicable at all. These are matters that will become clear at the project scoping stage.