Session Chair Reports

 

  •  

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    • Patrick Duffy
     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    A big effort is needed to strengthen the AFF Section after a downturn duuring COVID.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    We need to build on 17 years of acitivity  with webinars and  published results of projects shwoing how well suited ESIA  is to improving confidence in the process in the three sectors.                                                 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Strengthen training in ESIA around the sectors in AFF. 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Include the three sectors in  your practice as you are now needed to care for agriculture, forestry and fisheries more than ever before.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Policy makers in government departments of AFF do not yet see how well ESIA can improve practice. 


  • 100: A holistic approach to SIA: Meaningful implementation for modern challenges

     

    Day: Thursday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Nina Barton

    Vilma Gayoso-Haro

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    No. Besides a robust process, to have real confidence in impact assessment we need many other elements to change. For example, there needs to be a willingness among practitioners, proponents and regulators to become educated about different knowledge paradigms (Indigenous and western), as well as how different approaches to assessment can exist in parallel in order to think about how projects may affect different people, communities and the environment.

    As practitioners we need to be able to get to know the communities that may be affected. Mandated early engagement is great but there has to be wilingness to have practitioners involved early, not just government and proponent's representatives. Often, in my experience we are greatly limited by a proponent's schedule and financial constraints in our ability to do our work properly, and sometimes primary data collection isn't even included in the EA budget. We need to be able to ask the right people the right questions.  

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    There were many great points made - here are a few:

    - Jesse O'Brien talked about conflating project benefits with social benefits, which can contribute to low confidence from communities. 

    - Miguel Coutinho discussed social impact assessment of UN programs. This can contribute to higher confidence and wider application if it can be demonstrated that these types of programs do provide the benefits that are predicted.

    - Marielle Rowan talked about how predicted effects of a project as described in EA and management plans can change during construction and that companies must be prepared and flexible and prepare and adapt to new situations, such as external factors (Covid-19, natural disasters, etc). Not being prepared will decrease public trust and confidence and will affect a company's reputation.

    - I (Nina Barton) talked about how SIA is challenged by increased needs for information and analysis in the context of new regulations, and critical role for practitioner involvement in early engagement and for post-EA compliance activities. We will need to be able to put the time in to produce the quality that is needed in SIA.  

     

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Practitioners need to understand how modernized SIA can be conducted in a regulatory context, especially with respect to "respectful integration" of Indigenous Knowledge. Can integration even be respectful, or is a new approach needed? Proponents need to understand how robust and thorough SIA is a critical factor to achieving both regulatory approval and community buy-in for their projects. Regulators need to understand how to implement their regulations (see below as well). We all need to work to make the process fair and sustainable for all people and communities.  


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Practitioners need to understand how modernized SIA can be conducted in a regulatory context especially with respect to "respectful integration" of Indigenous Knowledge. Can integration even be respectful, or is a new approach needed? I hope to increase my own understanding - I have a lot to learn!


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Regulators need to understand how to implement their regulations. Specific to Canada and BC, there are a lot of new regulatory requirements and I think that work needs to be done in thinking about how new requirements are intended to be applied, with further development of the tools to apply them. For example, characterizing the positive effects of a project and following them through management and monitoring needs more thought.


  • Achieving more meaningful public participation in impact assessment (I)

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Jeremy Freeman

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Yes and No. --> More meaningful public participation is a large part of the picture of what is needed for 'confidence' in impact assessment, especially for the people many of us ultimately serve/are working for -- the Public, especially those who will be directly/indirectly affected.
    Many other things are needed as well, most of which are discussed in the many different concurrent sessions in this conference. 


    The theme that I grouped presentations for this block of talks around (II) was meaningful digital engagement techniques in modern and/or challenging times. Given our recent global pandemic and an already present move towards more digital techniques, a very pertinent topic. 

    By moving towards more digital forms of meaningful public participation that are available during better hours (E.g.: Having a digital 'town hall'/open-house 24/7 for a longer period of time (say 2 weeks) instead of a one-off afternoon community open-house) or even better, shifting to a hybrid approach (both in-person and digital), it is possible that the public and others can gain more confidence in the impact assessment process via greater opportunity to participate and engage with project experts.  Incorporating both techniques can also be seen as more representative of a wider range of opinions and lead to a more robust IA process.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Discussion in our group was great (as was the high attendance/participation). Each session in this block built upon the next.

    The first presenter (USA) was representing their private consulting firm (Jacobs) and emphasizing their platform in particular -- an almost virtual reality (walk-around, without the headsets) Town Hall. You can use your computer mouse to walk-around the hall/virtual space selected, as if you were attending in-person -- see poster displays about various aspects of the proposed project, posters from regulators, etc and post comments and ask questions where appropriate. The presenter had done extensively analytics that showed people spending more time in virtual environments than traditional town-halls, better attendance overall, more repeat customers. etc. 

    The 2nd (Europe) had a simliar digital platform.It included a similar click-around virtual town hall, as well as many other digital elements and components it could link to, including Impact Assessment Reports, Graphs, Excel data-sets, process maps, etc. It was sort of an all-in-1 digital platform for the IA process, with some links back to in-person events. 

    The 3rd was more of a case-study on recent engagement activities in small communities Nunavut, (Northern) Canada.The presenter worked for a mining company that had to do engagement during Covid, but reworked this engagement to a largely online, but also in-person environment, purchasing and incorporating digital tools (iPads with cellular data connections) for community engagment, and loading those iPads up with the material about the proposed project so it would be available offline as well, then leaving those tools (iPads) with community members to allow engagement on their time. With Health Authority approval the company also did conduct much size-reduced in-person sessions, utilizing low numbers, spacing and plexiglass sheilds for the presenters to present to community members. 

     

    Back to the question at hand though: Low confidence in impact assessment? Our discussion afterwards thought

    - having just one engagement method not ideal (e.g: just digital). Need a hybrid approach to reach those that don't like or don't find it easy to use technology, or are maybe too infirm to even use it or something as foreign as a touch-interface. (e.g.: Elders, people for whom English is a second language, etc). Some will always just refuse to utilize digital techniques/devices.

    -Negatives of all in-person engagement: Sometimes do not reach working individuals (depending on timing of sessions), doesn't always reach youth (many prefer digital), some are too shy to speak up or engage and face social pressures not to, in-person doesn't always allow for lots of time to interact, etc.

    - content in only one language - may not be relevant to community, esp. aboriginal ones

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change needs to come from all parties involved in impact assessment.

    - Regulators (including IA organizations) and Government need to embrace change and incorporation of digital techniques and a hybrid approach that can still be respectful of process timelines

    - Developers/Project Proponents need to do the same

    - Government/Decision making bodies also need to consider such techniques in the toolkits of modern impact assessment and IA practitioners, and how to incorporate these into policy, legislation, and timelines, as appropriate. 

    -Stakeholders/ The public need to be educated as to when these new opportunities are available, how they can participate, and how their feedback will be incorporated from these tools, meaningfully, into the IA process. 

     

    In the discussion, many seemed to conclude that these tools are, in fact not a (perfect) substitute for in-person sessions. The Hybrid model was seen as the ideal, as not all stakeholders/participants in an EA process will take to (feel comfortable with) either A) digital techniques/computers or B) in-person sessions (e.g.: 'Luddite' types who don't like to use technology, the elderly, the very young, the infirm, those with a different first language than english or the langauge the material is in, those without reliable internet access, etc. etc.)
    A wide variety of techniques still need to be available for stakeholders in IA for confidence in the process and meaningful engagment that also engages (importantly) vulnerable groups.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    -Use a hybrid (digital/in-person) approach to IA engagement! Allows you to engage a wider cross-section of individuals. Need to have both techniques available and multiple approaches to engage others, esp. vulnerable groups

    - Embrace/try to utilize indigenous languages where possible when working with groups, and online/in the digital realm if possible as well

    - Encourage more flexible timelines for input with these techniques, obviously respecting legislated timelines. Perhaps work with policy makers where needed to update procedures. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Other Stakeholders: -Engage early and often! See if digital/in-person sessions are available for a proposed project. Encourage developers/project proponents and IA Regulators to embrace them.

    - Policy makers: - realize the change/shift that happened with Covid and in general towards embracing more digital techniques. Try to incorporate a more hybrid approach into you IA.


  • Achieving more meaningful public participation in impact assessment (I)

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Jeremy Freeman

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Yes and No. --> More meaningful public participation is a large part of the picture of what is needed for 'confidence' in impact assessment, especially for the people many of us ultimately serve/are working for -- the Public, especially those who will be directly/indirectly affected.
    Many other things are needed as well, most of which are discussed in the many different concurrent sessions in this conference. 

    The 'theme'  I put together for these talks was (very loosely):Taking the technical and making it easier to understand, particularly amongst diverse audiences. 

    We had three engaging talks that received a lot of questions/feedback back, the first being on an approach for creating booklets that explain the complex IA process to the public/layman audience; the second being how to better explain the ESIA process/decisions for better public participation; and the third, experiences in IA public participation from Nepal, a highly diverse (sociologically and geographically) country with its own unique challenges.
     

    To conclude confidence, we need understanding by the many various stakeholders involved in the IA process about how the process works, where they can participate, the outcomes/goals of IA, etc. Even non-stakeholders can benefit from this information. The more understandable the information is, the more confidence is gained in our complex process. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Elements that contribute to low confidence:

    - Very long, technical documents (such as detailed guidelines)  that are hard for non-IA practitioners to understand or be introduced to

    -Inaccessible Language: In the literal sense here (documents such as IA Reports and Summaries, Notices of Meetings/project proposals, etc. not in the language of the people/stakeholders affected), but also a less literal sense: Language or vocabulary that is too complex, technical, too many acronyms, etc.

    - Inaccessible summary documents: Executive summaries of reports a great area to focus efforts to improve on readability of IA Reports, have more leeway to be creative and effective here (often not legislated requirements/policy on these) and provide succinct summaries of what actually matters/most important effects, mitigations, etc.

    - examples irrelevant to people being served: Not enough case-studies, pictures of familiar areas and people

    - not enough visuals (to help explain complex concepts)

    - lack of in-person consultation

    etc.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change needs to come from all participants in impact assessment, including IA Regulators, Government, Indigenous Groups, Industry/Developer/Proponents, other Stakeholders and members of the public. 
    However, in particular, in our discussion we focused on what IA Regulators/practitioners and Government could do, which is the opposite of what was discussed in A-II above and some other points emphasized in the question below (B).


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Recommendations came out of both the presentations themselves/peakers as well as the discussion that followed after. Here is a list of what followed mainly from the discussion following presentations:

    - easy-to-understand explanations of IA process. e.g.: booklets in plain language, with accessible relevant examples and visuals

    - nested learning material that contains consistant messaging but happens at various discrete levels of detail

    - a variety of engagement techniques and two-way forms of communication, including video and audio for different types of learners and different levels of language comprehension

    - a commitment to continually update and improve such documents and be open to such

    - focused, easy-to-understand IA reports and (in particular) Report Executive Summaries. Accesible websites and IA portals.

    - Accessible IA documents, including developer/proponent packages - available thru a variety of means including libraries, online, etc. and in languages/dialects of the people whenever possible

    - Accessible IA notices in the language of the people working with

    - Government should change legislation to ensure certain documents get published in relevant languages

    - Emphasis that in-person meetings still important/relevant


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    There is crossover here, depending on jurisdictions, size-of-organization, etc. Some ideas from above that might seem more in the policy-maker realm: 

    - easy-to-understand explanations of IA process. e.g.: booklets in plain language, with accessible relevant examples and visuals

    - nested learning material that contains consistant messaging but happens at various discrete levels of detail

    - a commitment to continually update and improve such documents and be open to such

    - Government should change legislation to ensure certain documents get published in relevant languages

    - Emphasis that in-person meetings still important/relevant

     


  • Achieving more meaningful public participation in impact assessment (II)

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Jeremy Freeman

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Yes and No. --> More meaningful public participation is a large part of the picture of what is needed for 'confidence' in impact assessment, especially for the people many of us ultimately serve/are working for -- the Public, especially those who will be directly/indirectly affected.
    Many other things are needed as well, most of which are discussed in the many different concurrent sessions in this conference. 


    The theme that I grouped presentations for this block of talks around (II) was meaningful digital engagement techniques in modern and/or challenging times. Given our recent global pandemic and an already present move towards more digital techniques, a very pertinent topic. 

    By moving towards more digital forms of meaningful public participation that are available during better hours (E.g.: Having a digital 'town hall'/open-house 24/7 for a longer period of time (say 2 weeks) instead of a one-off afternoon community open-house) or even better, shifting to a hybrid approach (both in-person and digital), it is possible that the public and others can gain more confidence in the impact assessment process via greater opportunity to participate and engage with project experts.  Incorporating both techniques can also be seen as more representative of a wider range of opinions and lead to a more robust IA process.
     

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Discussion in our group was great (as was the high attendance/participation). Each session in this block built upon the next.

    The first presenter (USA) was representing their private consulting firm (Jacobs) and emphasizing their platform in particular -- an almost virtual reality (walk-around, without the headsets) Town Hall. You can use your computer mouse to walk-around the hall/virtual space selected, as if you were attending in-person -- see poster displays about various aspects of the proposed project, posters from regulators, etc and post comments and ask questions where appropriate. The presenter had done extensively analytics that showed people spending more time in virtual environments than traditional town-halls, better attendance overall, more repeat customers. etc. 

    The 2nd (Europe) had a simliar digital platform.It included a similar click-around virtual town hall, as well as many other digital elements and components it could link to, including Impact Assessment Reports, Graphs, Excel data-sets, process maps, etc. It was sort of an all-in-1 digital platform for the IA process, with some links back to in-person events. 

    The 3rd was more of a case-study on recent engagement activities in small communities Nunavut, (Northern) Canada.The presenter worked for a mining company that had to do engagement during Covid, but reworked this engagement to a largely online, but also in-person environment, purchasing and incorporating digital tools (iPads with cellular data connections) for community engagment, and loading those iPads up with the material about the proposed project so it would be available offline as well, then leaving those tools (iPads) with community members to allow engagement on their time. With Health Authority approval the company also did conduct much size-reduced in-person sessions, utilizing low numbers, spacing and plexiglass sheilds for the presenters to present to community members. 

    Back to the question at hand though: Low confidence in impact assessment? Our discussion afterwards thought

    - having just one engagement method not ideal (e.g: just digital). Need a hybrid approach to reach those that don't like or don't find it easy to use technology, or are maybe to infirm to even use it or something as foreign as a touch-interface. (e.g.: Elders, people for whom English is a second language, etc).

    -Negatives of all in-person: Sometimes do not reach working individuals (depending on timing of sessions), doesn't always reach youth (many prefer digital), doesn't allow for lots of time to interact, etc.

    - content in only one language - may not be relevant to community, esp. aboriginal ones

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change needs to come from all parties involved in impact assessment.

    - Regulators (including IA organizations) and Government need to embrace change and incorporation of digital techniques and a hybrid approach that can still be respectful of process timelines

    - Developers/Project Proponents need to do the same

    - Government/Decision making bodies also need to consider such techniques in the toolkits of modern impact assessment and IA practitioners, and how to incorporate these into policy, legislation, and timelines, as appropriate. 

    -The public needs to be educated as to when these new opportunities are available, how they can participate, and how their feedback will be incorporated from these tools, meaningfully, into the IA process. 

     

    In the discussion, many seemed to conclude that these tools are, in fact not a (perfect) substitute for in-person sessions. The Hybrid model was seen as the ideal, as not all stakeholders/participants in an EA process will take to (feel comfortable with) either A) digital techniques/computers or B) in-person sessions (e.g.: 'Luddite' types who don't like to use technology, the elderly, the very young, the infirm, those with a different first language than english or the langauge the material is in, those without reliable internet access, etc. etc.)
    A wide variety of techniques still need to be available for stakeholders in IA for confidence in the process and meaningful engagment that also engages (importantly) vulnerable groups.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    -Use a hybrid (digital/in-person) approach to IA engagement! Allows you to engage a wider cross-section of individuals. Need to have both techniques available and multiple approaches to engage others, esp. vulnerable groups

    - Embrace/try to utilize indigenous languages where possible when working with groups, and online/in the digital realm if possible as well

    - Encourage more flexible timelines for input with these techniques, obviously respecting legislated timelines. Perhaps work with policy makers where needed to update procedures. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    - Engage early and often! See if digital/in-person sessions are available for a proposed project. Encourage developers/project proponents and IA Regulators to embrace them.

    - Policy makers- realize the change/shift that happened with Covid and in general towards embracing more digital techniques. Try to incorporate a more hybrid approach into you IA.


  • Achieving more meaningful public participation in impact assessment (III)

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Jeremy Freeman

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Yes -- More meaningful public participation is large part of the picture of what is needed for 'confidence' in impact assessment, especially to the people many of us ultimately serve/are working for -- the Public. Many other things are needed as well, most of which are discussed in the many different concurrent sessions in this conference! The theme I sort of came to for this session was that the presentations were about "improving how we do engagement in our organizations to lead to more meaningful public participation. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Low confidence:
    - IA unaccessible because documents are not even available in the langauge of the country or one that the majority can read and speak (Uganda and Nepal (session I). -- Work towards translation is occurring/needs to occur. 


     

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    - Governments and regulators could chnage legislation to be more accessible to the public -- eg: Language laws, 

    - Regulators could produce more consistant and practical policies that highlight strategies for public participation 

    eg: Introducing mandatory policy/guidelines regarding public participation planning and engagement.. Agreements on how to engage 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    - Translate key documents and material (esp. Impact Assessment Reports and/or summaries) whenever possible into langauges accessible to the people the projects will affect.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    - Translate key documents and material (esp. Impact Assessment Reports and/or summaries) whenever possible into langauges accessible to the people the projects will affect.

    - Public: Actively engage and seek out your organizations responsible for impact assessment to engage with them and learn of opportunities available to you. 


  • Advancing Impact Assessment: Opportunities, Methods and Tools

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Dr. Thomas Gunton

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    1. Community-led process.  Need to have communities develop their own review process to ensure their values and interests are represented

    2. Transparent methods of evaluation based on explicit guidelines, particularly for assessing public interest. 

    3. Comprehensive evaluation frameworks that allow for comparison of project costs and benefits 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change needs to come from governments who design the process, communities/stakeholders engaged in the process, and technical experts.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    1. Support the development of more explicit guidelines on methods for assessing project impacts and the public interest.

    2. Engage with impacted communities to help them develop their own impact assessment.

     


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    1. Develop more explicit guidelines on impact assessment methods

    2. Delegate more responsibility to impacted communities to manage their own impact assessment process.

     


  • Are We Positive? Is IA prepared to implement positive effects requirements?

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Mark Shrimpton 

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    No, but a full and balanced (compared with the current consideration of adverse effects) is required. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    The issue isn't a lack of confidence, but a limited awareness and understanding of the actual or potential effects of projects. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    A revision of regulation and regulator guidance and a full recognition of actual and potential positive effects by proponents, practitioners and other stakeholders. This includes a requirement to think beyond the traditional positive effects (e.g. jobs and expenditures).


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    An expanded focus on positive effects and their enhancement. These will mostly be socioeconomic but can be biophysical. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Policy makers must incorporate positive effects and their enhancement into regulations, guidance and all aspects of project assessment and effects monitoring and management. Proponents, practitioners and other stakeholders must be required or encouraged to consider positive effects and their mitigation in project assessment and beyond. This will require communication, collaboration and imagination. 


  • Beyond Consent: Embedding Indigenous Decision Making in Extractive Projects

     

    Day: Thursday
    Date: 5 May 2022
    Time: 16:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Andy Symington

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    The process needs not just to be robust, but to have legitimacy, it must be co-designed by the relevant rights-holders, in this case Indigenous communities.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Low confidence because the principles of free, prior and informed consent are not adequately embedded in impact assessment in many jurisdictions.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Governments beyond BC need to move more on FPIC and companies need to take a longer view of what constitutes FPIC. Innovative solutions required.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Incorporate as much bottom-up content in impact assessment as possible


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Societal expectations of FPIC have moved beyond legal compliance and legislation needs to evolve to align. Companies should be aware of that fact and that only good faith negotiation with communities can protect them from potential reputational damage.


  • Building confidence in EA through good evidence and practitioner integrity (I)

     

    Day: Thursday
    Date: 5 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    George Hegmann

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Further discussion is needed regarding means to improve understanding and confidence in work conducted by consulting practitioners, including about the realities of what it actually means to do EAs for proponent clients.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Improvement in the understanding by others of the personal and professional convictions of consulting practitioners helps to improve confidence in EA.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change needs to come from all parties engaged in EA towards better understanding and agreeing on what constitutes "good and acceptable" EA.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Continue to enagage with all participants in the EA process to renew trust and understanding.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Continue to enagage with all participants in the EA process to renew trust and understanding.


  • Building confidence in EA through good evidence and practitioner integrity (II)

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    George Hegmann

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    An accreditation program is also needed for IA practitioners.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Formal practitioner accreditation can contribute to improved confidence in IA.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Government support of accreditation programs.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Always maintain a high degree of professional integrity.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • Building confidence in IA results by using participatory approaches (I)

     

    Day: Thursday
    Date: 5 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Victoria Griffiths and Mark Barnett 

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    No but the topics and methodologies discussed and presented in this session (both I and II) will go a long way to increasing confidence in impact assessment as they include more participation by stakeholders. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    The ideas presented in the session (e.g. Amplio talking book, citizen science, etc) will contribute to higher confidence in IA, but it's not only up to these tools. Other session topics covered in this conference (e.g. more meaningful participation, indigenous knowledge, etc.) are needed. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    In particular, change needs to come from the practitioners and regulators, but change needs to be driven by all parties invilved. 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Develop innovative approaches to IA that include participatory approaches to evaluate the impacts of a proposed project and include a bottom up process to identifying and aevaluating impacts. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • EA follow up

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 16:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Tracy James supported by Jos Arts

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    The IAIA principles for follow up are critical to public confidence and even the most comprehensive EA processes have a long way to go in their follow practices. Many lessons for proponents, regulators and practioners. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Lack of transparency to the public, indigenous groups and other parties is one of the key shortcomings. 
     

    more future sessions on *how* the IA Follow up principles are / could be better implemented in practice would be good. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Regulators and proponents are key, but all parties are needed to drive the change. 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • First experiences with Canada's 2019 Impact Assessment Act

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Christian Reuten

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Canada is in a transition that is moving in the right direction, but it also requires a culture change. Furthermore, Canadian federalism will continue to be a major political and even legal challenge. Finally, if the same kind of projects continue being approved, the new IAA will quickly lose credibility. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Strong and clear technical guidance is contributing very positively.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Further technical guidance, consistent application must be coming from the regulators. Also, agreement between regulators is needed.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • Human rights impact assessments: Trends and approaches

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 15:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Irit Tamir & Caroline Brodeur

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    The elements mentioned in our session, which are part of the HRIA Assessment Framework developed by Oxfam, are key to ensure that the assessment captures all relevant adverse risks to human rights, to support companies in understanding how its business practices have an impact on adverse risks and to lead to systemic and sustainable improvements of the working conditions of workers and lives of communities throughout the value chain.

    Unfortunately, impact assessments won’t bring the desired changes if they are not integrated into a broader human rights due diligence process and followed by concrete actions. Therefore, impact assessments must include clear and specific recommendations that will then be integrated within a solid and time-bound action plan. 

    Furthermore, as discussed in our session, voluntary measures have proven to be insufficient. Without Robust impact assessment processes must be mandatory for all businesses and specific standards must be communicated to all private sector actors to level the playing field and increase the quality of impact assessment. The adoption of mandatory human rights due diligence legislation by countries is an important element that has the potential to increase the number of and governments must penalize companies that are not implementing robust processes.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    High confidence: 

    • Meaningful rights holder engagement (wide sample with gender disaggregation and participation of rights holders with divergent views)
    • Transparency in process and results (HRIA reports MUST be published in their entirety)
    • Capacity-building of rights holders throughout the process
    • Engaging in hybrid approach (bringing rights holders and companies in a joint HRIA process - but rebalancing powers through the adoption of strict rules and safeguarding measures)
    • Including gender-based analysis throughout the process
    • Adopting best practices standards to increase the quality of HRIA produced and avoid having an industry of low-quality HRIA being developed. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    • Increase participation of rights holders in the process.
    • Push for legislations that will make those processes mandatory for companies (leveling the playing field for all companies)
    • Adopting standards for best practice in HRIAs to increase the quality. 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    • Practitioners should commit to adopting the principles mentioned in our session (see section above).
    • Every impact assessment must be made public.
    • No practitioners should accept to engage in check-box exercises. Meaningful rights holder engagement must be integrated at each stage of the impact assessment. The engagement must include rights holders holding divergent views, women and gender-diverse peoples, with a focus on most vulnerable groups.
    • Engage with companies and advocate for improved practices including the need for companies to increase transparency.
    • Push companies to identify/address the impact of the company’s own corporate policies and practices including:
      • The purchasing practices of the company such as the ones identified by the ILO (contracts clauses, technical specifications, order placement, prices and market power, and requests for social standards)
      • Effect of marketing choices on the suppliers (leading to pressures on price, quantities, lead times)
      • Suppliers' relationship (system of prioritization, engagement, length of contract)
      • Advocacy (e.g. engagement in multi stakeholder platforms) if relevant


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    • Adopt mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence legislation to make HRDD processes mandatory
    • Require impact assessment to include a gender-based analysis (see the example of Canada’s Impact Assessment Act, https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/I-2.75/index.html)


  • IA: Special Challenges and Potential

     

    Day: Saturday
    Date: 7 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    David Poulton

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Greater effort to build trsut and confidence by deliberately involving stakeholders and local populations.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Empathy and concrete tools for addressing stakeholder concerns, even beyond the bounds of the project in question.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Proponent's need to be pro-active in building engagement and trust.  Governments need to be more trans[parent and provide clearer, less ambiguous guidance.  Regualtors need to draft conditions to clearly reflect pre-existing conditions sand the contribution of the project to worsen (or better) those conditions.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • Impact Assessment: Tool for promoting conservation or delaying destruction

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 15:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Jody Bremner (stand-in for Anupam Joshi)

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    The Panel suggested the following to improve confidence that impact assessment will have meaningful, positive influence on conservation:

    • Cultural shift towards ESGs by development companies, which promotes alternatives analysis and ultimately better project design that maximizes benefits while limiting impacts
    • Effective communication, such that impact assessments are fully understood and properly implemented (alignment on terms, jargon and methods is needed; education of public and stakeholders is needed)
    • Societal demand for conservation to be a priority is needed for regulatory decision-makers to reject projects that have significant negative impacts
    • Accountability is needed, both for developers and the decision-makers
    • Improved baseline data can improve assessment predictions (more data, quality data, better access to/sharing of data)

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    The Panel discussed the following factors that affect confidence that impact assessment has a meaningful, positive influence on conservation:

    • Confidence in impact assessment’s ability to promote positive conservation outcomes is limited in jurisdictions (e.g., Iran) where the regulatory process does not require public and stakeholder engagement
    • Lack of transparency in significance determinations and decisions reduces confidence; transparency in trade-offs between sustainability pillars (economy, environment, society) is needed
    • More space is needed in EIA to allow conversations about significance and acceptability of impacts and a broader range of discourses need to be accommodated so that subjective and value-based issues can be discussed

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    The Panel discussed the following ideas for changes that would improve confidence in impact assessment:

    • Activism, effective communication and partnerships are needed to influence changes in policy
    • Legal proceedings need to challenge controversial decisions and hold decision-makers accountable


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    The Panel suggested the following recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    • Have faith that impact assessment is a critical tool: even though outcomes are heavily influenced by the political environment, impact assessment has potential to deliver sustainable outcomes once the societal environment is amenable to it.
    • Have realistic expectations: cultural transformation (what is considered acceptable or not) takes time; impact assessment will not make the world “greener” overnight.
    • Be bold in significance conclusions/language when needed, avoid “greenwashing”.
    • Include local and Indigenous communities, stakeholders and public early.
    • Look to strong guidelines/policies (e.g., World Bank) for assessment approaches.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    The Panel suggested the following:

    • Decision-makers should be making significance determinations (rather than developers) and should clearly acknowledge subjective conclusions (value assessments). Transparency and accountability is essential.


  • Indigenous and Stakeholder Involvement in Post-Decision Activities

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Philip Seeto

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Much more work is needed to conclude that we can have confidence in impact assessment beyond our topic of involvement in post-decision activities. Greater transparency and involvement of Indigenous communities and the public through all phases of the impact assessment process is necessary to achieve confidence in impact assessment. Including more involvement post-decision, as was our section focus, however, is vital to show that all the work done during the impact assessment is being used, effective and accomplishing what is expected.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Some elements discussed in our session include the involvement of indigenous communities and the public in post-decision activities such as compliance verification through an Indigenous Advisory & Monitoring Committee (IAMC), generating high quality, trusted environmental information through an environmental stewardship intiative (ESI) and approaches being taken by the Impact Assessment Agency to encourage greater confidence.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    The change necessary to improve confidence in impact assessment needs to happen prior to decision-making and stretching into post-decision activities. Our community needs to think about how we can provide greater transparency and involvement in all activities post-decision. This requires considerations before the decision.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Impact Assessment Practitioners should reflect on how their work should continue post-decision. There is a strong sense that the impact assessment process ends with the decision made by the decision-maker, however, over the last few years indigenous communities and the public have started showing greater interest in being involved to see how the work from the impact assessment is work in reality.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Policy makers should realize that there is this interest post-decision and provide tools and resources necessary to allow for this involvement.

    Stakeholders should start considering how they could be involved post-decision and start early to explore how this would work in light of their specific legislation, context, environment.


  • Indigenous knowledge in impact assessment: International case studies

     

    Day: Thursday
    Date: 5 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Rachel Olson

    Michel Berube

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    In our session, the panelists and the audience agreed on the importance of Indigenous Knowledge in IA. However, more work needs to be done until there is confidence that this is successful. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Low: poor inclusion of IK in IA up to present; lack of confidence in the use of IK in IA; inappropriate tools developed for IK data collection. 

    High: Positive changes in the Canadian Impact Assessment Act, higher involvement of Indigenous Peoples throughout the process. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Promoters, practitioners, and decision makers. 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Be open to change your practice.

    Western Science must be open to new ways of assessment. 

    Follow best practices and principles for IK. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Responsibility of policy makers to provide tools and means to achieve these new goals. 


  • Insights on land from the Inspection Panel and the IAMs of EIB and EBRD

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Mark Goldsmith

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Examples from the investigation case work illustrated the need for IA to better consider the value of ecosystem services and culture in relation to land.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    The presentations discussed the need for clearer rules on Habitats assessment and better application of cultural heritage assessments so that impacts important to the community are better understood at the planning stage of a Project.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change will come from the application of relatively new standards such as the World Bank Environmental and Social Framework which includes more detail concerning the assessment of ecosystem services and cultural elements of a Project than previous standards. 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    We need practioners with a better understanding of local context for cultural heritage assessment and for practioners to be able to consider both the social and environmental dimensions of ecosystem service assessments. In addition it may help local communitites to have greater agency in relation to Projects if IA practioners perform more of a facilitating role than exclusively a technical role.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Ensure the Policy requirements in relation to potential ecosystem services and cultural heritage impacts are fully considered at the planning stage of a project.


  • Integrating intangible and spiritual values in impact assessment

     

    Day: Saturday
    Date: 7 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Angeles Mendoza Sammet, Eric Gagnon

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    The timelines and rules of IA processes set by regulators do not fit the needs, times and cosmology of Indigenous groups. For indigenous and non-indigenous groups, having the emphasis on approving or streamlining projects leaves insufficient time to develop the trust and confidence needed in the process. The emphasis of the assessment and decision processes on resource use and on tangible and/or material components of the environment has disregarded the intangible and spiritual values that are essential for well-being and the continuation of cultures, languages, and ways of living.

     

    The global situation calls for a transformation of human activities. To get away from the emphasis on extraction of resources that is at the root of ecosystem degradation and the loss of ecosystem services vital for humans and other lifeforms on Earth.

     

    To have confidence in IA, its process, the way in which the environment is defined, and the way in which practitioners perceive the environment needs to be transformed too:

    • The declaration of the human right to a clean and healthy environment recognizes that an impaired environment is essential for human wellbeing[1].
    • Beyond the human-centred perspective, Indigenous People and environmental activists have been advocating for the recognition of nature’s rights, which countries such as Ecuador and Bolivia have enacted as the Rights of Mother
    • Earth. Rivers such as the Ganges and Yumana Rivers in India[2] and the Whanganui River in New Zealand[3] are now recognized legally as persons.
    • The initiative to enact the rights of the rivers continues[4].
    • The initiative to declare ecocide as an international crime[5] is also gaining momentum.

     

    How prepared are the current environmental laws, the administrative rules, and IA practitioners to see the environment in this new way, as someone that has rights that need to be respected? Opinion of the audience was that we are not prepared, at least not if we continue using the Western perspective.

     

    Still. Talking about the environment considers mainly what is tangible or what can be seen. Intertwined with is the wider, intangible realm that people in different cultures recognize value beyond the material aspects. Some cultures talk about it, other consider it too sacred to be mentioned, but still needing to be respected and protected. To integrate the intangible in IA, practitioners as outsiders do a poor job, often taking long paths and/or using complex methods to reach similar conclusions to what locals have known for eons. More collaboration between IA practitioners and local and indigenous groups are need to be developed knowledge partnerships based on open-mindedness and trust. These partnerships may be the best way to create new perspectives to integrate the intangibles in IA and learn not to apply the mitigation hierarchy to impacts that affect them.

     

    [1] https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/10/1102582

     

    [2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/21/ganges-and-yamuna-rivers-granted-same-legal-rights-as-human-beings

    [3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/21/ganges-and-yamuna-rivers-granted-same-legal-rights-as-human-beings

    [4] https://www.iucncongress2020.org/programme/official-programme/session-52640#:~:text=The%20Universal%20Declaration%20of%20the%20Rights%20of%20Rivers%20(%E2%80%9CDeclaration%E2%80%9D,the%20rights%20of%20rivers%20movement.

    [5] https://www.stopecocide.earth/

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    To low confidence: the adherence to fix processes, regulations and rules that do not fit the times, cosmology and needs of communities.

     

    To High: Few cases in which the impact of past actions are acknowledged and there is collaboration with communities and knowledge holders to find ways to restore the environment and the relations of people with it. 

     

    Contributing to low confidence is the influence of economic interests in the process and the decisions. Decisions about projects often are influenced by the political or economic interest of a group, leaving out the views and rights of communities and the environment, which often still pay for the externalities that are not accounted for in project assessment.

     

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change is needed in all parts: authorities need to redesign their own rules and fixed processes, to be really adaptive. They need to enact the rights of communities to say no to development and apply the precautionary principle to integrate intangible, spiritual and sacred values: the lack of scientific evidence or methods to assess impacts on them should not be taken as a reason to exclude them form the assessment. Impacts on intangible aspects should be considered as significant and design measures to avoid harming them because those impacts cannot be mitigated.

     

    Proponents need to talk directly with communities before any project starts to understand communities’ needs, tangible and intangible/spiritual values to move form community consultation to collaboration. Proponents and communities can acknowledge their different world views and co-design and assess projects, rather than impose projects on communities and then try to mitigate the negative effects.   and do the follow-up.

     

    Communities, especially in developing countries, need to build a knowledge base that includes their rights and the IA process. In many cases, this requires reclaiming their culture and values, which have been supressed by colonialism, and revalue how tangible and intangible aspects contribute to their wellbeing and ways to relate to the living and non-living environment. This may require support from authorities and proponents can also support this to work, relating to with communities as partners, not as the other party.

     

    Authorities need to lead in support this and open paths for proponents in case the later have not experience in developing truthful relationships with communities.

     

    Impacts on intangible aspects are intergenerational. Even if those impacts have happened decades ago, authorities, proponents (or project owners) and communities need to seek mutual understanding to find ways to restore what has been lost, as much as possible.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Change is needed in all parts: authorities need to redesign their own rules and fixed processes, to be really adaptive. They need to enact the rights of communities to say no to development and apply the precautionary principle to integrate intangible, spiritual and sacred values: the lack of scientific evidence or methods to assess impacts on them should not be taken as a reason to exclude them form the assessment. Impacts on intangible aspects should be considered as significant and design measures to avoid harming them because those impacts cannot be mitigated.

     

    Proponents need to talk directly with communities before any project starts to understand communities’ needs, tangible and intangible/spiritual values to move form community consultation to collaboration. Proponents and communities can acknowledge their different world views and co-design and assess projects, rather than impose projects on communities and then try to mitigate the negative effects.   and do the follow-up.

     

    Communities, especially in developing countries, need to build a knowledge base that includes their rights and the IA process. In many cases, this requires reclaiming their culture and values, which have been supressed by colonialism, and revalue how tangible and intangible aspects contribute to their wellbeing and ways to relate to the living and non-living environment. This may require support from authorities and proponents can also support this to work, relating to with communities as partners, not as the other party.

     

    Authorities need to lead in support this and open paths for proponents in case the later have not experience in developing truthful relationships with communities.

     

    Impacts on intangible aspects are intergenerational. Even if those impacts have happened decades ago, authorities, proponents (or project owners) and communities need to seek mutual understanding to find ways to restore what has been lost, as much as possible.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Policy makers and regulators should recognize -in policy and legislation- that everyone, regardless of a nationality or ethnic affiliation is connected to the land and water by intangible and spiritual values. These values, together with spiritual beings that some cultures recognize, are not just expressions of a culture but real components of the environment that keep people and land together. In the past, these values have guided the way in which social groups, especially indigenous groups, managed and took care of the resources, with a multigenerational perspective for planning.  The Western approach has imposed other values and ways to relate to and value the environment, with an emphasis on economic growth and extracting what is possible, not what is needed. This has led to the degradation of land and water we experience. resources and Realize that they are fragile and inseparable from the land, and considered them. The knowledge and culture attached to intangible values and spirits are not important only for the community that cares for them, but are part of humankind toolbox for adaptation. Value them as they are when decided if a project is really for the benefit of the people. There are no effective mitigations for impacts on the intangible, so apply the precautionary principle considering that the impacts go beyond the current time and space,

     

    Proponents should leave inflexible processes aside, and first take time to start getting to know each the people and understand their views. Still, only in few cases proponents take time to build relationships and opt to be flexible, seeking to create together a project instead of asking communities to accommodate a project and consent to the losses.


  • Leadership in IA is strategic for increased confidence

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Ross Marshall and Maria Partidario

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    - leadership supported on a competent professional and empowered team

    - ensuring flexibility in IA to support adjustments to change, to cope with uncertainty and vulnerability

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Trust, flexibility, empowerment

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    - people involved, mind-sets

    Given the level of interest expressed in our session IAIA should give it greater prominence and attention during future events and in its training programme


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    - recognise IA needs to be proactive to help set the way

    - ensure flexibility in IA to cope with uncertainty and vulnerability

    - build strong empowered teams

    - recognise the importance and richness of interdisciplinary

    - a leader needs to keep up for innovation


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    - Earlier involvement of experienced IA practitioners

    - A leader does not always lead, many times follows, a leader needs to empower the team so that they can act

    - Engineers are able to solve problems but not to avoid problems


  • Local Content: From Policies to results

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Jeanne Ellis

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    We discussed only one element--Local Content--which in fact is not usually included in ESIAs, but we argue that it should be. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Indigenous participation and leadership in ESIAs, when they are part of the affected communities. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Practioners, government, affected communities


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Consider local content when conducting ESIAs or translating those findings into Management Plans. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • Meaningful participation: defining this key to IA success and confidence

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 15:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Janet Blackadar

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    A number of items were mentioned in the session the lead us to believe that there needs to be a more robust definition of meaningful participation. We also discusssed recommending that monitoring the implementation of a project include some mechanism to understand whether the process of participation was felt to be sufficient by those consulted during the EIA

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    The notion of making the information available in a non technical way was very important. Ensuring that feedback provided be included in the final project design in a transparent way was considered important. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Regulatory drivers need to ensure participation is conducted in a transparent manner 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Make information in the EIA non-technical and accessible to all 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Capacity building for public and stakeholders is required in order for them to adequately and completely participate. 


  • Measurement, methods, and meaning in psychosocial impact assessment

     

    Day: Saturday
    Date: 7 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Sérgio Moreira & Helen Ross

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    It is not all that is needed, but it is a good part of it - making perceptions, feelings and behaviours something tangible. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Making perceptions, feelings and behaviours something tangible contributes to high condidence.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Creating awareness and capacity in psicosocial impact assessment.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • Modern approaches to assess and regulate energy infrastructure projects (I) & (II)

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Genevieve Carr, Canada Energy Regulator

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Confidence is built through open and balanced processes that consider all types of energy projects, from project planning and engagement on alternatives to detailed project-specific assessment and oversight. Processes should not be static; modern processes should evolve to meet the needs of our evolving energy future. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Confidence can be further built - or eroded when absent - through transparency in objectives, in assessment and in decision-making, through effective and predictable project oversight, and through open and meaningful engagement with implicated parties throughout.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    This session explored many facets of energy assessment and regulation, for many types of energy projects (thermal coal, oil and gas, hydroelectric, solar). Key themes that emerged were the importance and value of open and meaningful engagement and an ability to adapt based on what was heard, as well as the value of detailed project planning and considerations of both natural and socio-economic dimensions of potential projects.   


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    There is no single best path to transition to a low carbon and clean energy future, and impact assessments and processes should be designed to respect the pace and information needs that will support a responsible transition that holds the confidence of implicated parties.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Continue to advocate for transparent decision making and meaningful engagement.


  • More collaboration... better results (I) and (II)

     

    Day: Thursday
    Date: 5 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Susana Rosa and Patricia Rodrigues

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    If we consider collaboration in a wide sense among all stakeholders and EIA professionals it could be all that is needed (assuming that the legal framework is adequate and functional).

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Collaboration, local population involvement, transparency. Change is needed in a sense that these elements should be deepened and assured 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    The change must encompass all stakeholders. The national authorities formal process must be changed in order to enable collaboration and increase in stakeholder involvement. By improving these elements, change in stakeholders level of confidence must (and also needs) to change/improve. 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Assure you have the necessary budget, time and human resources to deepen collaboration among stakeholders


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    As previously mentioned, national authorities formal processes must be changed in order to enable collaboration and increase in stakeholder involvement.

     


  • Online Impact Assessment processes for sustainable development: Building relationships and collaboration

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Justine Knox

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Lockdown measures accelerated moves to online work delivery of all aspects of Impact Assessment (IA) practice including baseline data collection and display, impact assessment implementation, engagement, consultation, and training. New tools to facilitate Digital tools are rapidly developing, and there both opportunities and risks associated with this new way of working. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    The development of digital tools can drive improvements for transparency, participation, and regulatory review and ultimately build confidence in IA.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    The ethics, sensitivity of certain information, cyber security, and privacy/confidentiality particularly of more vulnerable groups, needs to be carefully considered during development and implementation of new digital IA tools.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Be carefully creative. Advancements in IA digital tools are exciting and have many benefits to offer. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Develop (or adopt from other organizations) best practices for the use of data, informed consent, protection of privacy, and cybersecurity.


  • Open science, data and knowledge to inform impact assessment

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 5 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Jessica Coulson

    catherine Ponsford

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    We need to collaboratively work to find a mechanism to provide Indigenous knowledge while respecting ownership control access and possession to support impact assessment and also  Big data such as earth observation. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    How to make science truly understandable and accessible to inform impact assessment in an inclusionary way. Challenging with so much data and science. The Open Science data Platform is an example of a tool to help achieve this. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Regulators and data providers 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Use a wide range of data, science and knowledge to inform impact assessment. Government and non government sources. Open science and Data platform is a tool to provide access to this type of information. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • Participation, Partnership and Impact Assessment: Tools and Practice for Better Outcomes

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 7 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Victoria Marquez-Mees

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    A robust process is key but not enough to guarantee confidence in impact assessment. To  build trust the following are also needed

    1. Ensure that communities are well informed and have clear understanding of how their inputs are considered 

    2. Maintain continuous engagement throughout the life of the project and not only during the initial assessment stage

    3. Create a relationship where communities also benefit. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    1. Define a clear transparent and predictable process to determine the implementation of FPIC

    2. Get a clear understanding of the context and governance in the region.

    3. Do not disregard the risk of escalating conflict if engagement is not undertaken early enough and there is trust in the assessment process and outcomes.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    The change needs to come from Project proponents and governments, but impact assessment experts have to be aware of the consequences of not pushing for robust processes.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    1. Study the context and understand what are the key drivers for impact assessment based on that local context

    2. Ensure that communities are able to provide inputs early enough in the process so that they effectively influence the impact assessment process.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    None


  • Planning early for next generation IA

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Anna Johnston and John Sinclair

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Ealry engagement is needed for sure as established by all presenters. We need to identify best practices for impliemneting early to ensure nobdy is left behind.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    The session was focused directly on a element of IA that is critical to ensuring high confidence in impact assesment. A number of benefits were identfiyed, such as more informed engagment, enhanced acceptablity of decisions, and better opportunity to consider alternative means.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    It needs to come from all participants - in part regulators in allowung the time necessary for early engagenent - in part propoents by being open to broad discussions and in part participants by being willing to participate early.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    See above.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • Principles and Best Practices for EsIA Compliance and Enforcement

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Cheryl E Wasserman

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Although compliance and enforcement are essential missing elements needed to have confidence in impact assessment, it is a necessary but not sufficient element,  IA requires a) robust stakeholder participation throughout the process, b) transparency and access as noted in one of the Principles for overall success, c) time needed for practitioners to do an adequate job, d) clarity of decisions to be made, e) clarity of the level of decision most appropriate to the application of EsIA, whether it is project, regional, program, policy and how it relates to project level and transparent feedback on competence and performance of the professionals performing the assessment, including their independence.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Impact assessment needs to add a) elements to assure an appropriate level of review at the front end of the process incuding transparency and opportunities to engage in the decision on level of risk and mitigation or compensation that is offered to AVOID, preparation of the IA documentation and consideration of alternatives, b) legally binding documents for both compliance with regulations but also for commitments made as outcomes of the EA process to avoid, mitigate, compensate for adverse and beneficial impacts, c) independent drafting of commitments so they are enforceable with criteria for what makes a commitment enforceable, d)  stakeholder empowerment to engage but also identify issues with compliance and for seeking redress and resolution, e) development and application of legal enforcement authorities and compliance strategies appropriate to EsIA, f) modernization of support systems to enable access to both documents and data, status in the review process, management plans and follow up commitments to monitoring, reporting,  All of these points are captured in the DRAFT Principles and Best practices document out for review and comment within IAIA and INECE by June 30, posted on the respective websites.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    For the particular changes recommended in the draft Principles and Best Practices document the changes are in institutions, government procedures and investment in systems support, legislation for legal enforcement authorities, administative procedures and resource and other incentive schemes for achieving the necessary cooperation and coordination among institutions at all levels and with stakeholders.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    IAIA and INECE Practioners could be helpful in developing a common recommended template which is also amenable to database management for conveying essential informaiton on commitments to measures for avoidance, mitigation and compensation that can aid in accountability, transparency, institutional responsibility for compliance assurance and enforcement etc. and tracking of both compliance and enforcement actions to address both consequences and results.

    a) issue of concern,

    b) phase/timing  (siting, preparation, construction, operation, closure), 

    c) measure type ( prevent/avoid, control, compensate)

    d) Measure description (could be pull down menu)

    e) capacity, efficiency, size and other relevant attributes

    f) performance requirements

    g) feasibility/validation

    h) monitoring

    i) reporting

    j) insitution responsible for oversight

     

    See paper delivered May 2016 at IAIA conference by Wasserman


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    1- Amend procedures, funding, and incentive arrangements to secure engagement of relevant institutions with permit, monitoring, enforcement authorities in the EA process, identify what is needed to ensure smooth transfer of responsibility for the life cycle of a project- while maintaining central accountability- and to engage them in promoting compliance with EA requirements prior to construction.

    2- Put EA within a broader regulatory framework by viewing existing laws and regulations as a point of departure, using EA to develop and apply conditions which are context specific and then treat the outcomes of the EA process as serious commitments which must also be flexible to address the kinds of project level changes that often occur with new construction.  Focusing wherever possible on performance, with an anchor of proposed approach to achieve it, using adaptive management approaches with accountability for specific actions to be taken if a trigger point is exceeded etc.


  • Principles for Strengthening Independence in Impact Assessment

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Eddie Smyth & Rob Verheem (online)

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    The challenge remains that impact assessment is developer-led so indepdence needs to be strengthened.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    We discussed the key components of strengthening independence.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    We need to discuss more how to develop principles for strengthening independence in impact assessment.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Participate in the IAIA initiative to develop principles to strengthen independence in impact assessment at www.eia.nl


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Implement requirements to strengthen independence in impact assessment.


  • Regional Assessments

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 15:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Wesley Moore

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • Safeguarding Indigenous communities and marine environments

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 15:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Laura Jokinen

    Christa Meuter

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    No - confidence in impact assessment is a complex issue for Indigenous communities in BC.  There is a history of mistrust due to colonial processes and practices that continually impact First Nations.  The lack of regulatory oversight regarding the inclusion of health indicicators specific to Indigenous populations is an issue - despite the on-going work - there is still much forward movement needed to reach a level an appropriate level of confidence.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Unmitigated risks/impacts

    Project approval despite lack of support from First Naitons

    On-going impacts related to colonization

    Lack of culturally-appropriated indicators being assessed through EA/SIA processes

    No 'home' for HIA

    Ehtical considerations regarding IA practitioners collecting sensitive data 

    OCAP principles not a norm

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Community-led IA - with funds + capacity 

    Meaningful engagement

    Assessment of culturally-approriate indicators

    Establishment of monitoring systems - looking at IA as a cyclical process


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Require ethical and data management training

    Health data should not be collected by practitioners who don't have a health-related background - the potential to harm is too great.

    Community-level data is needed to understand the risks/impacts a project will have on an affected community - without it - you cannot assert 'no significant risks' 

    Cookie-cutter approach to IA for First Nations is not appropriate given the diversity across Nations


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    HIA training is needed for BCEAO staff


  • session 123 Mandatory pre-emptive "early" engagement for streamlining EIA - does it work?

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 16:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Malcolm Smith, Charlie Palmer

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    No. Early engagement, if it is to be succussful, must occur within a already robust EIA process.  

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Early engagement with the community (i.e., before the formal start of EIA processes) appears to be a widely accepted best practice.

    Whether the early engagement is mandatory vs. voluntary appears to be less relavant than doing it (see above it is a best practice) and how you do it. In respect of the latter being open, transparent, strategic with early engagement is important. Having flexibilty (particularly within madatory early engagement processes) to adpat the early engagement to what the community wants, the needs of the project and the wider context in which the project sits is critical to success. Many examples of early engagment that failed were offered. Recognition of the engagement spectrum (inform-consult-cooperate-collaborate) and moving to the right to increase participation and level of engagment is important for it to be meaningful. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Practitioners and proponents. Note the above comments - doing early engagment is a best practice, but how you do it is more important. Success in early engagment cannot be assummed if you consider it a check-box exercise to satisfy regulatory requirements.  Note engagement spectrum comments above.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Doing early engagment is a best practice, but how you do it is more important. Success in early engagment cannot be assummed if you consider it a check-box exercise to satisfy regulatory requirements.  


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    If early engagement is required as a mandatory part of an EIA process it is important to offer flexibilty in how it is done. Each project requires a different type of engagement to suit the community (i.e., avoiding burnout, address issues of specific concern, engaging as per community desires, knowledge of EIA) and to suit the project (i.e, level of design knowledge, negotiable vs. non-negotiable issues).


  • Sharing steps to improve IA by using stronger argument and reasoning

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 5 May 2022
    Time: 16:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Glenn Brown

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    1) The tools of argument assembled in the package ‘Organized Reasoning’ have been shared about 100 times, especially in Canada and Australia, but also to multiple countries via IAIA conference and online courses.

    2) One-off short courses / workshops are successful to initiate practice after the workshop, although levels of implementation vary.

    3) Panel members and people from the audience shared methods they had found successful in expanding practice at their office.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    1) The courses provide useful tools you can use in the short term, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t use all tools at once. Most people build their repertoires gradually.

    2) Practitioners used the tools in short documents, like emails, first and expanded to sections of assessment reports. They used tools for both strategic planning and the details of writing reports.

    3) Project managers and report editors found the tools gave them a vocabulary they could use when supporting authors of different sections.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Not really applicable here.


  • Socio-Economic & Environmental Assessments for Modernized Land Use Plans

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Kelly Sims (Chair)

    Tara Atleo

    Ruth Hardy

     Gwen Bridge

    William Nikolakis

    Ian Curtis

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    A more holistic approach for undertaking SEEAs is required in the consulting profession. The understanding of ethical space, two eyes seeing, and the need to respect Indigeous Knowledge is well reflected in most academic and non-profit presentations, but seems t be a gap in the consutlting/professional field. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Continue to set standards that are clear and practical and link to best practices, lessons learned, and how we can work together in the future.


  • State-Indigenous processes that advance FPIC requirements under UNDRIP

     

    Day: Thursday
    Date: 5 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Angel Ransom and Trefor Smith

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Re: Confidence that impact assessment will reflect principle of UNDRIP

    High quality assessment, including inclusion of community and Indigenous knowledge, as well as robust western scientific knowledge; robust cumulative effects assessment; and transparent disclosure of risk and strategies for the management of uncertainty related to predicted adverse impacts and/or beneficial effects.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    In some cases, a continuing lack of adequate supports to Indigenous communities to be involved at a "deep" level of collaboration, or leading parts of all of the impact assessment where a proposed project poses potential significant adverse effects on Indigenous rights and interests.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Re: Confidence that impact assessment will reflect principle of UNDRIP

    Change needs to come from federal and provincial governments, as governments ultimately hold responsibility for implementation of UNDRIP.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):


  • The 50th anniversary of NEPA: Lessons Learned and Future Challenges

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 16:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Michael Smith

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    We had a lot of discussion about the lack of capacity (funding, staffing) for impact assessment to reach it's full potential.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Building on the issue of lack of capacity discussed in the Q&A session, additional government funding is needed for both the oversight agency for NEPA as well as for federal agencies that manage the preparation of EIAs.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    The main change agent is the federal government and the Congress.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Keep up to date on the numerous and frequent changes that are occuring with the implementation of NEPA.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Provide additional regulatory direction and guidance on how to evaluate climate change and environmental justice/equity impacts.


  • The COVID pandemic, disasters, conflict, impact assessment and beyond

     

    Day: Saturday
    Date: 7 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    C. Kelly

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Needs to consider unlikely events, as demonstrated by COVID.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    The challenge of participation - can lead to low or high confidence depending on how it happens.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Realizing that assesments need early stakeholder engagement and consider what can go wrong.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Consider what can go wrong.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Policy makers: Ensure what can go wrong is included in assessment process.


  • The intersection of ESG, Sustainability and IA

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 09:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Nazia Zakir Ahmed 

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    The session talked about the Intersection of Environmental and Social Governance, Sustainability, and Impact Assessment. It demonstrated how impact assessment could lead to sustainability. There are many overlaps between sustainability and ESG initiatives linked to impact assessment reports. Perhaps sustainability and ESG are helping omplemnet the impacts assessments differently. It primarily proved that we have confidence in impact assessment, but more needs to be done to implement the impacts assessments on ground rather than become part of the regulatory approval.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    With the increasing popularity of ESG and sustainability initiatives, the impact assessment implementation will become easier. Application of Impact Assessment is the key to achieving sustainable development goals. The session gave a demonstration of the impact assessment process through its projects.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    The session concluded that the impact assessment must focus on delivering sustainability for projects and organizations.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    The practitioners must focus on localized solutions in consultation with communities.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Include the opinions of the stakeholders throughout the implementation of the projects.


  • Theories and concepts to build confidence in psycho-social impact assessment

     

    Day: Saturday
    Date: 7 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Jeffrey Jacquet and Will Rifkin

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    Impact assessors and community members seem to desire greater acknowledgement of psycho social impacts resulting from projects, disasters and closures and as cumulative impacts. So, IA needs to be not just robust but inclusive of domains that are not historically given much documentation.  

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Audience members seemed to agree on SIA including more PSIA. The impacts are recognised, and methods to assess them are available. It is a matter now of establishing legitimacy - cultivating clients and audiences through regular and consistent use. 

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    This change can come from SIA practitioners, their clients, and the regulators. 


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Read the developing cases and upcoming guidelines on PSIA. Also, contribute to those guidelines and case studies. Provide examples for peer review and peer learning. 


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Require assessment of psycho social impacts that might be expected as a consequence of physical and social impacts on top of historical challenges, such as displacement or economic disadvantage.  


  • What's hot in social impact assessment

     

    Day: Saturday
    Date: 7 May 2022
    Time: 14:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    If a robust process means science, then the answer is NO.

    If a robust process means joint deliberation, good community engagement, FPIC, and respect, then the answer might be yes. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    much greater repect for local communities is needed. Community-LED impact assessment is needed.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change has to occur at all levels


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    pay more respect to communities


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    pay more respect to communities


  • Working with Indigenous community to Create confidence in Projects

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 11:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Margaret Scott and Geetha Ramesh

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    • It its imperative that naions are contacted not just at the begining but also through and after impact assessments are conducted.
    • meaningful Consultation is a must for it to become a robust process.
    • Inclusion is important

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Meaningful discussin is important and provides confidence

    Transparanecy in the process provides higher confidence

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Currently there is a seismic shift as approaches to economic reconciliation and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) are being defined and implemented. - community based monitoring will increase more trust


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    • Meaningful dicussion with commuities
    • Tranparaent inclusion
    • Plan community based monitoring
    • Help proponent understand these themes

     


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    Meaningful and regular consultations are required

    Capacity building is essenstial for nations

    Be clear about the regulatory requirements

     


  • Youth professionals in pact assessment

     

    Day: Wednesday
    Date: 4 May 2022
    Time: 15:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Mario Mesarić

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    From the perspective of young professionals more guidance and mentorship is needed in the first period. More public participation and increasing local knowledge. 

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    /

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    /


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Providing adequate mentorship to younger professionals.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):

    More inclusion of public and different stakeholders.


  • Zone of Influence in Impact Assessment

     

    Day: Friday
    Date: 6 May 2022
    Time: 16:00

    Session Chair(s):

    Mike Setterington, Kerman Bajina

     


    (a) Three messages on the theme "Confidence in Impact Assessment"

     

    (I) Will it be enough for IA to continue to evolve?

    The zone of impact analysis is an evolving ecological and social science. We need EA practitioners to recognize the complexities of the analysis and not jump to unnecessary overly-precautions conclusions.

     

    (II) Is there a better way to ensure that impact-assessable matters are taken into account in project and policy decision making?

    Assuming that impacts occur in the ecological zone of influence contributes to low confidence in EA practice. Underestimating the social ZOI is poor practice that can be best informed by robust baseline data.

     

    (III) If revolutionary change is needed, what might it look like?

    Change from within EA practitioners. Be critical of conclusions, question the analysis. Ensure ZOI scoping is supported by reasonable baseline assessments.


    Recommendations for impact assessment practitioners:

    Use precaution where precaution is due, not as a crutch where evidence is complex.


    Recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders (please specify if possible):