Global Conference on Environmental Assessment Innovation Coming to B.C.
Government of BC | Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy | Friday, April 8, 2022
Experts from more than 80 countries will gather in person and virtually to exchange ideas on best practices to protect the environment while balancing the need for solid and sustainable development.
The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations will welcome environmental assessment leaders from around the world to Vancouver in May 2022 as hosts of the International Association for Impact Assessment conference (IAIA22). Registration for the conference is open until April 13, 2022.
The IAIA is the leading global network on impact-assessment best practices to inform decision-making regarding policies, programs and plans for major infrastructure and resource development projects. More than 1,000 members will gather to learn from each other, share stories of successes and challenges and inspire innovation as they strive to ensure major projects meet today’s needs without compromising the opportunities of future generations.
IAIA22 aims to explore the theme of how governments can strengthen confidence in the practice of environmental impact assessment through clear policies, strong partnerships and meaningful public participation on proposed major projects in industries such as power, oil and gas, transportation and mining.
The conference will include plenary sessions, training courses, cultural tours facilitated by the host First Nations, and technical visits to major project sites and unique environments on the West Coast.
“We are very proud that the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations will provide delegates the stunning experience of B.C.’s majestic mountains, waters and wildlife as they attend this conference. We believe in good regulation and ensuring we protect our spectacular natural environment for the future, while we establish the conditions for responsible economic development today. B.C. is seen as a leader through the revitalization of our Environmental Assessment Act in 2018, yet there is always more that we can do. I believe learning from each other is essential, and putting today’s shared values in place through strong policies, in combination with early engagement with Indigenous Nations and strong partnerships that fully consider their heritage, rights, culture and knowledge, will lead to sustainable decision-making as we move forward.”
– George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
“Musqueam is excited to join our relatives from Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh, along with our partners at the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, to host this gathering of global leaders in environmental impact assessment. These lands and waters have supported our cultural and economic practices for thousands of years. As we look to the future, it is imperative that Indigenous Peoples lead environmental stewardship discussions and have opportunities to meaningfully provide our unique and extensive knowledge about our territories. With IAIA22, we are demonstrating to the world how this work can be done effectively and in full partnership, hopefully inspiring attendees to think about how they can implement similar work at home.”
– Chief Wayne Sparrow, Musqueam Indian Band
“The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) has been stewards of its lands since time immemorial. We’ve respected and protected the land to ensure our ecosystems remain in balance. Moving forward, we must work together to use Indigenous knowledge to continue to protect our beautiful mountains, forests and oceans for future generations.”
– Sxwíxwtn Wilson Williams, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Spokesperson
“On behalf of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, we look forward to welcoming leaders from more than 80 Nations globally to the shared territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. The work that will take place at the International Association for Impact Assessment Conference is important. As a Nation, we are working hard to restore our traditional territory to its full health. Our stewardship of the land, air and water is deeply ingrained in our culture because we understand the health of our people is interconnected with the environment we inhabit. As a Nation, we look forward to the work that will be done as a result of this conference, and continuing to work collaboratively on developing and implementing solutions.”
– Chief Jen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
“The Government of Canada looks forward to supporting and participating in the IAIA Conference. This conference offers Canada a wonderful opportunity to share with the world our leadership in creating a comprehensive impact-assessment system that also puts Indigenous reconciliation at the forefront of a stronger public engagement process. We look forward to learning and sharing with the best minds in impact assessment so development and environmental protection continue to go hand-in-hand around the world.”
– Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Learn more about the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA): www.iaia.org
- Watch a video about IAIA22: https://player.vimeo.com/video/568941570
- Register for the May 4-7, 2022, conference: https://conferences.iaia.org/2022/registration.php
- The Environmental Assessment Office is a neutral regulatory agency of the Government of British Columbia, responsible for assessing the effects of major projects, including on sustainability and Indigenous reconciliation. For more information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/eao
Source: BC Government News