Symposium Theme

IAIA Special Symposium
Mainstreaming the Mitigation Hierarchy in Impact Assessment
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) HQ
Washington D.C., USA
14-15 November 2017

In 2017 we are five years on from the release of the seminal and highly influential 2012 International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards. The recently revised World Bank Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and updated standards and recently approved International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Biodiversity Offsets Policy mark a convergence with these, and with greater emphasis on borrower country frameworks for their implementation. Many borrowing countries are in the process of either developing or applying new policies on biodiversity and ecosystem services that emphasize the importance of effective mitigation planning within the impact assessment (IA) process. 

IAIA, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IUCN, is holding a two-day special symposium on Mainstreaming the Mitigation Hierarchy in Impact Assessment in Washington, D.C., followed by two days of specialized training courses. The symposium will provide a forum for sharing and advancing leading practice in mitigation hierarchy implementation for biodiversity and ecosystem services to improve outcomes for society, conservation, business, and finance. It aims to broaden the community of practice, building a shared interpretation of standards and approaches commensurate with risk and opportunity.

In addition to presentations, the symposium will feature debates based on experience of implementation on "thorny topics" with a view to resolving inconsistencies and informing risk-management processes.

Important Dates

  • 18 MAY 2017
    Abstract submission opens

  • 21 JUL 2017
    Abstract submission deadline

  • 1 August 2017
    Online registration opens
    Preliminary program available

  • 7 AUG 2017
    Paper authors notified of acceptance status

  • 15 SEP 2017
    Presenting author registration deadline

  • 24 OCT 2017
    Final program available

  • 1 NOV 2017
    Registration closes

  • 14-15 NOV 2017

  • 16-17 NOV 2017
    Post-symposium training courses (to be announced)

Topics Include

  • Framing the process: goals and outcomes
  • Principles to practice showcase: cases and examples
  • Advantages and techniques of mitigation hierarchy implementation throughout the IA process

  • Deep dive: data, methods, tools, and models

  • Stakeholder engagement and participation

  • Beyond project level: incorporating cumulative or indirect effects and applying the mitigation hierarchy at a strategic level

  • The offset step: implementing commensurate and lasting interventions

  • Ecosystem services: mind the gap

  • Defining the business case

Technical Committee

  • Robin Mitchell, The Biodiversity Consultancy
    Jo Treweek, eCountability Ltd
    Conrad Savy, IFC
    Francisco Dallmeier, Smithsonian Institute
    Morgan Hauptfleisch, Namibia University
    Peter Moore, EBRD
    Pippa Howard, Fauna and Flora International
    Robert Langstroth, IDB
    Steve Edwards, IUCN
    Jared Hardner, Hardner and Gullison Associates
    Nick Owens, CSBI

Institutional Partners

With Assistance From

IAIA Biodiversity and Ecology Section

IAIA Washington Area Branch (WAB)


About IAIA

IAIA is the International Association for Impact Assessment, organized in 1980 to bring together researchers, practitioners, and users of various types of impact assessment from all parts of the world. IAIA involves people from many disciplines and professions. Our members include corporate planners and managers, public interest advocates, government planners and administrators, private consultants and policy analysts, university and college teachers and their students. IAIA has members from over 120 nations.

For 37 years IAIA has been holding annual conference events all over the world to promote best practices in impact assessment.

Questions about this symposium? Contact