Impact assessment workshop announced for Christchurch
(10 April 1998)
"Addressing Biodiversity and Impact Assessment"
A 2-day Workshop for the 18th IAIA Meeting Christchurch, New Zealand 19-24 April, 1998
Andrea Bagri and Frank Vorhies
Economic Services Unit
IUCN The World Conservation Union
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) provides a strong mandate for the development and application of impact assessment techniques in support of the biodiversity agenda. Specifically Article 14 calls for each of the 170 Parties to:
Introduce appropriate procedures requiring environmental impact assessment of proposed projects likely to have significant adverse effects on biological diversity with a view to avoiding or minimising such effects, and to introduce appropriate arrangements to ensure that environmental consequences of programmes and policies likely to have significant adverse impacts on biological diversity are duly taken into account.
Thus the CBD offers the impact assessment community a fresh mandate and opportunity to strengthen and extend impact assessment techniques. In this context, IUCN-The World Conservation Union is organising a workshop at the 18th annual IAIA meeting which seeks to work towards strengthening impact assessment in two ways:
- by examining ways of amending existing techniques to ensure they include biodiversity concerns; and
- by investigating the prospect of supplementing impact assessment with a tool which would enable developers and policy makers to identify ways in which their projects, programmes and policies can positively impact the state of biodiversity.
The objective of this two day workshop is to develop a series of recommendations to the impact assessment community and the biodiversity community on the implementation of Article 14 of the CBD. In particular, these recommendations will be directed towards the 4th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the CBD which will take place in May 1998 in Bratislava. Also, a smaller sister workshop at COP4.
The first day of the workshop will open by informing participants of obligations outlined by the CBD, reviewing what has been done to-date regarding biodiversity and impact assessment, and introducing cases where biodiversity issues have been integrated into impact assessment techniques.
The second day of the workshop will start with discussions about how to enable developers and policy makers to identify ways in which their projects, programmes and policies can positively impact the state of biodiversity. The prospect of a supplementary tool will be presented and discussed and cases demonstrating such a positive approach will be presented. The final session of the workshop will focus on recommendations to the impact assessment and biodiversity communities, in particular to the Conference of the Parties of the CBD, on what needs to be done.
For more information about the workshop or to submit articles or case studies for the workshop please contact Andrea Bagri at firstname.lastname@example.org.