The Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) is the only international, interdisciplinary conference dedicated to the art and science of impact assessment. The IAIA17 Conference, hosted this year in Montréal, Canada, gives us an opportunity to share information, best practices, success stories, innovations, and lessons learned with delegates from all over the world.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will be participating in several sessions for this year’s Conference (April 4-7). The theme for this year is the Impact Assessment’s Contribution to the Global Efforts in Addressing Climate Change.
The IDB’s contributions are full aligned with the Conference’s theme as they revolve around development of renewable energy, which is a critical piece in our fight against climate change. The main question addressed in IDB sessions is whether the increased share of renewable energy, including in the global energy matrix can be achieved while protecting biodiversity, the environment and people’s livelihood. We believe that the response is yes. IDB speakers will provide practical case studies in Latin America and the Caribbean, which demonstrate through a variety of renewable energy technologies, such as wind power, geothermal energy and hydropower, that it is possible to develop those technologies at large scale while achieving positive outcomes for the environment.
We are looking forward to sharing best practices, and continuing to work with impact assessment practitioners around the world to learn and make progress in our quest to mitigate climate change.
The full program is available here.
Below is a list of some of the sessions with IDB participating speakers. We invite you to attend and share your experiences with us!
You can also follow along via Twitter using #IAIA17.
Biodiversity and Ecology
The challenges of renewable energy for biodiversity
Tuesday 4 April | 15:30-17:00 | Ballroom Centre
Chair(s): Emmanuel Boulet
While renewable energy is key in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it presents unique challenges to biodiversity. Through case studies focused in Latin America, we present specific challenges in the geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind sectors and associated facilities and discuss mitigation measures developed to address the impacts on biodiversity.
Wind-wildlife risks and wind power in Argentina
Speaker(s): Romina Aramburu; Caleb Gordon
Argentina is expanding wind power, yet limited data and guidance exists on risks to bird/bat biodiversity. An initiative to standardize data gathering and assess risks for decision making is presented.
Leveraging geothermal energy for conservation
Speaker(s): Zachary Hurvitz
This session will present case studies from Central America and the Caribbean to illustrate how geothermal energy may be leveraged to achieve positive outcomes in biodiversity conservation.
Reventazón hydropower project: Biodiversity loss mitigation
Speaker(s): Rosario Navarro
Good environmental management practices to address impacts produced on high-biodiversity habitats by the Reventazón hydropower project in Costa Rica: Challenges, solutions, and lessons learned.
The white glove approach
Speaker(s): Steven Collins
When impacts to critical natural habitat are unavoidable, best practice measures must be implemented to minimize impacts to these habitats and their inhabitants.
Power Generation and Transmission
Hydropower 2.0: From planning to operation, a new generation of sustainable hydropower?
Wednesday 5 April | 11:00-12:30 | Salon C
Chair(s): Emmanuel Boulet
Is hydropower a technology of the past or a critical piece in our fight against climate change? Can we identify the right projects, and do them right? This session will explore emergence of a new generation of hydropower projects that could represent a win-win for our society, environment and economy.
Low-hanging fruit hydroelectric projects
Speaker(s): Phil Shantz
Based on recent Canadian experience, this presentation will focus on the key characteristics of successful hydroelectric projects. A discussion of how policy can encourage this will also be included.
Is modern hydropower better for the environment?
Speaker(s): Pierre Biedermann
Based on a review of recent changes in the hydropower sector, the presentation provides an overview of the way technical evolutions can translate in benefits or risks for environmental receptors.
EbA and hydropower generation
Speaker(s): Katia Gracia
The methodological steps and a set of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) actions are proposed in the context of hydropower generation in vulnerable areas.
Reasons to approve hydropower projects in Brazil
Speaker(s): Andre Andrade; Marco dos Santos
The criteria used by the Brazilian Environmental Institute to identify right hydropower projects and examples of environmental improvements due to environmental process.
Compliance during hydro operations
Speaker(s): Miles Scott-Brown
How to ensure the continuation of environmental and social commitments of the Reventazon Hydro Project during the transition from construction to operations.
The Conference will cover several topics, including:
- Integration of climate change in EIA, SEA, environmental and social management plans, and regional and project planning
- Revised IA baselines integrating climate change data, uncertainties, and impacts
- Adaptation and resilience from developed and developing countries
- Climate finance and risk management
- Major infrastructures adaptation measures and risk assessment
- Capacity building transfer and communication about climate change to decision makers and different stakeholders
- Climate change impact on policies, legislation, regulations, and “climate justice”
- Climate change compensation and reduction/carbon capture and storage, market, and pricing
- IAIA’s role in “climate smart(er)” impact assessment and the future
- Climate change, extreme events, and impact assessment