Confidence in Impact Assessment: Policies, partnerships and public involvement
4-7 May 2022
Vancouver Convention Center East
How can impact assessment create confidence for all participants? Clear and transparent policies, strong partnerships, and effective participation and consultation ensure credibility and predictability. When all parties have confidence in the process, impact assessment can support collaboration, improve outcomes and support sustainable economic development. When process confidence is low, it can create conflict and an overall erosion of trust, leading to uncertain outcomes.
IAIA22 in Vancouver aims to examine the area of confidence in impact assessment through three lenses:
Policies: Strong, consistent and clear legislation, policies, and Indigenous governance provide certainty and support sustainable development. At its best, impact assessment creates a robust standard that can be supported by all parties, but, without transparent processes, uncertainty and conflict can impede sustainable development. For example, impact assessment, when combined with other initiatives such as the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, can provide a strong basis for Indigenous Consultation, decreasing these issues.
Partnerships: Impact assessment is most successful when all parties work together. Meaningful collaboration between government agencies, Indigenous peoples, proponents, practitioners, and communities supports an equitable, engaged and comprehensive process. Such a process can create relationships and build trust, even when interests are not aligned; this supports identifying solutions to complex issues.
Participation: Accessible impact assessment ensures Indigenous governments and communities, stakeholders, and the public are able to meaningfully participate. This provides a robust understanding of values, interests, issues and solutions. Without these collaborative opportunities, participation and consultation processes can experience delays, mistrust, and a misunderstanding of potential impacts.
There will be opportunities for wide-ranging discussions covering general IA topics and the work of IAIA's special-interest Sections, including:
Vancouver is located on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh, boasting mountains, ocean and an urban city all in one location: hike/bike with views of the Salish Sea; visit culturally diverse communities, truly local-global restaurants, or local shops; experience Coast Salish culture via galleries, museums, and tours.
For 40 years IAIA has been holding annual conference events and training courses all over the world to promote best practices in impact assessment. IAIA pre-conference training courses are presented primarily by IAIA members and are open to all participants.
In addition to conference sessions, training courses, and special meetings, we are planning a range of technical visits that will involve learning, networking, and laughter as you are introduced to this beautiful part of Canada. Some examples of potential technical visits:
The Environmental Assessment Office is a neutral regulatory agency of the Government of British Columbia, Canada, responsible for assessing the effects of major projects, which includes sustainability and Indigenous reconciliation (www.eao.gov.bc.ca).
Xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) are collaborative partners and the three host nations for this event.
Xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) are collaborative partners, supporting the 41st Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (2022) in Vancouver, BC; this conference will be located on the unceded traditional territory of these host nations.