Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is commonly regarded as a tool to predict the consequences of planned development. The underlying assumption of predictability is valid for engineering projects in the built environment, but not for projects that modify the natural environment. For example, the construction of dams and levees to generate hydropower and control river flow are affected by the interactions between people and nature in the river catchment. Such interactions can have unpredictable chain-reaction impacts on plants, soils and river flow that may compromise the design of engineered structures, leading to the surprising collapse of systems that were believed to be stable. Resilience assessment takes into account the changes arising from complex interactions between people and nature resulting in development interventions based on a model of change that recognizes the risk of undermining environmental stability. Integration of resilience assessment with SEA has the potential to improve long-term environmental stability and sustainability.

This resilience assessment course provides foundational level training for SEA practitioners who want to learn about resilience assessment and how it can be integrated into SEA. The course is built on workshops held at the IAIA Geneva conference in 2010 and at the IAIA SEA conference in Prague in 2011. Both of these events led to publications that explored the potential of resilience thinking and assessment to improve SEA practice by addressing the unpredictability that arises from complexity. Knowledge gained from these learning initiatives within the IAIA SEA community are supplemented with experienced gained from resilience training workshops held in other contexts to develop a training course for the IAIA SEA community.

Anticipated learning outcomes are:
1. The difference between complex and ordered systems and implications for planning, assessment and management
2. Resilience concepts and metaphors for environmental change in the context of long-term sustainability
3. Use of resilience thinking heuristics for resilience assessment.
4. Integrating resilience assessment in SEA.

Level: Foundation
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of SEA required
Language: English
Duration: 2 days (9-10 May)
Price: US$475
Min/Max: 10-35

Roel Slootweg, Ph.D., SevS human and natural environment consultants (The Netherlands)

Mike Jones, Swedish Biodiversity Centre (Sweden) and Wallowa Mountain Institute (USA)


Roel Slootweg
Roel is an ecologist with Ph.D. in Environmental Science. His work focuses on the integration of nature conservation, natural resources management and social-economic development in industrialised as well as developing countries.

His experience in impact assessment includes:
• Capacity development: three-year capacity building with EPA Ghana; for the World Bank he has initiated the CLEEA network for the environmental assessment community in Africa; for Twente University he developed course modules on biodiversity in IA; capacity development needs assessments in Ghana and Cameroon. Several high level seminars on biodiversity in IA (Central American IA Directors, donor meeting at CBD Secretariat; European NBSAP representatives; Espoo Convention Geneva) and many times invited speaker.
• Scoping, review, and assessment studies in The Netherlands, Albania, Montenegro, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Niger, Kenya, India, Rwanda, Uzbekistan). 
• Development of conceptual and procedural approaches towards the integration of social aspects in IA and to the better representation of biological diversity in IA. This has resulted in the Guidelines for Biodiversity in Impact Assessment, adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2006.
• Various publications, most notably a recent book with Cambridge University Press (2010) on biodiversity in environmental assessment (lead author), two chapters in the International handbook on Social Impact Assessment (2003), and two IAPA papers (2001 & 2012) granted with IAIA Best Paper award.
• IAIA: member since 1997; co-initiator of the highly successful Biodiversity in Impact Assessment action programme, through the Biodiversity Section; member of the 2002 Conference programme committee (The Hague); co-author of IAIA's Biodiversity Principles (No. 3) and contributor to the SIA Principles (No. 2); key-note speaker at the first theme forum on Biodiversity (Vancouver);
• Together with co-trainer Mike Jones, initiator of the resilience and SEA initiative at the Geneva conference (2010), resulting in an award winning paper in IAPA with contributions from a number of longtime IAIA members.

Roel has worked at Leiden University as associate professor (Biology Department and Centre for Environmental Science) between 1984 and 1993. Since 1993 he worked as a consultant, and started his own company in 2001. He tries to keep a close link between consultancy work and science, as shown by his continued presentations, lecturing and publications. Slootweg has working experience in some 30 countries in Europe, Africa, South America and in Central, South and Southeast Asia.

Roel has received the 2011 IAIA Lifetime Achievement Award (formerly the Rose-Hulman Award)


Mike Jones
Mike is an ecologist whose work is currently focused on developing capacity for the application of resilience science to environmental management.  His experience and skills lie in community conservation and co-management, protected area management, including planning, ecological research and environmental impact assessment.

Experience relevant to the integration of resilience thinking in relation to planning and impact assessment includes:
• Consultant on short to medium term development assistance projects for various clients including GIZ, IFC, IUCN and NORAD: as team leader for EIA of development projects; training and support services for protected area management planning in Swaziland, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe and feasibility studies of tourism development projects 1991-1999.
• Community conservation consultant for three different US non-profit organizations developing an international network of landholders, scholars and conservation practitioners involved in collaborative conservation and co-management projects providing technical support and training services. Support included facilitation services, management planning, GIS and remote sensing, organisational development, policy development and design of monitoring systems for adaptive co-management at a landscape scale.  The work was grounded in participatory processes and aimed at developing local self-sufficiency.  2000-2011
• Mike has been developing networks of resilience practice based on complex systems theory since 2009; delivering seminars and training courses on the application of resilience assessment to ecosystem based adaptation; disaster risk reduction; adaptive co-management regimes, "connectivity" conservation, development strategy, and food systems.
• Together with co-trainer Roel Slootweg, initiator of the resilience and SEA initiative at the Geneva conference (2010), resulting in an award winning paper in IAPA with contributions from a number of longtime IAIA members.
• Together with Riki Thirivel, initiator of the resilience and sustainability assessment session in the Beyond Current SEA Practice Theme of the Prague IAIA SEA 2011 conference, resulting in a book chapter Beyond Current SEA Practice with Riki Thirivel and Bryan Jenkins.

Mike currently holds part time positions with the Swedish Biodiversity Centre (integration of knowledge across academic disciplines and professions, transdisciplinary research and teaching); and the Wallowa Mountain Institute, Oregon, USA (adaptive co-management of US federal forests and community resilience workshops for undergraduate students). Mike is also the founding chair of the Resilience Thematic Group in IUCN's Commission on Ecosystem Management that was created in 2012.