Global Environmental & Social Assessment Group (GESA)

Engage with the GESA Group

The GESA (Global Environmental and Social Assessment) group is a great way to engage with IEMA on environmental and social risk management related to international development projects. The Network is a member led, collaborative initiative, supported by the IEMA team.

 Joining this group is a great way to keep up-to-date, meet new contacts and get more involved, as and when your workload allows. In GESA you can be listening, learning and leading depending on what suits you:

  • Listening: Receiving GESA related updates that keep you informed about developments in environmental and social risk management related to international projects
  • Learning: Attending live webinars / events, catching up on recordings, or reading guidance
  • Leading: Applying your knowledge alongside that of other members to shape practice

As an IEMA member, joining the GESA Group is quick, easy and free. Just let us know that you want to join and we’ll update your record. Email us here

Find out more about GESA and its activities

GESA is led by a Steering Group of volunteers drawn from IEMA’s members and beyond. The Steering Group’s role is to plan, curate and facilitate the delivery of GESA’s annual programme of activities. The Steering Group is chaired by Debbie Cousins, Group Head at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) Environment and Sustainability Department Operations . The GESA Steering Group members  are:

  • Chair: Debbie Cousins (EBRD)
  • Robert Adamczyk (EBRD)
  • Neal Barker (WSP)
  • Adam Bloss (Green Investment Bank)
  • Ben Cave (BCA)
  • Colette Curran (ARUP)
  • Rob Evans (Arcadis)
  • Russell Foxwell (AECOM)
  • Max Griffin (UK Export Finance)
  • Phil Le Gouais (Mott MacDonald)
  • Lauren Osmond (ERM)
  • Tom Streather (Mott MacDonald)
  • Lucy Wood (Barton Willmore)

You can access GESA’s Terms of Reference HERE 

Any questions for the GESA Steering Group please feel free to email us

GESA's Upcoming Activities:

Summer 2018

  • GESA Working group meeting
  • GESA Young Professionals

Autumn/Winter 2018

  • ESIA Implementation (webinar)
  • GESA Young Professionals (event)
  • International Professional Recognition Schemes (webinar)
  • Circular Economy, SDG's, Green Econonomy in Transition (event)
  • GESA Working Group meeting

GESA’s Past Activities:

  • 25 May 2017: Exploring Future Challenges to Effective International Project Environmental and Social Assessment, Event in London – access the presentations HERE
  • 23 February 2017: Challenges of SIA in International Development, Webinar – access the recording HERE
  • Autumn 2016: IEMA Member Survey on ESIA – access the Survey Findings Report HERE
  • 25 August 2016: The International Perspective on ESIA, Webinar – access the recording HERE
  • 26 May 2016: Impact Assessment in the Finance Sector, Webinar – access the recording HERE

GESA Young Professional Working Group 

The GESA Young Professional Working Group aims to provide a forum for people at the start of their careers to grow their skills and experience in internationally financed projects and programmes. The ultimate aim is to support those members interested in building careers that contribute to the sustainability of those international projects the communities they support. After some initial diagnostic sessions two key areas of activity for the working group have emerged: 

  1. The identification of key skills and competencies (to be aligned to IEMA’s wider framework) that are the pre-requisites to developing a career focused on international E&S management. 
  2. Hosting an open learning event to address some of the specific skills requirements identified (anticipated late summer- dates to be confirmed) 

 A number of additional tasks (such as establishing a LinkedIn forum, opportunities for thought pieces, a literature bank and visual guidance tools) have been identified. Opportunities to get involved and contribute to activities are best sought through the group’s LinkedIn forum “IEMA’s GESA Young Professionals Working Group”. 

Approaches, Challenges, and Opportunities in Social Impact Assessment 

Taking place on the 17th May 2018, this event aimed to provide a forum to explore emerging SIA themes, approaches, challenges and opportunities. This is in the context of the increased recognition of importance of social issues and risks in ESIA processes over the past ten years. To frame the discussion, the following three areas of enquiry was discussed by a panel of industry experts and the audience: 

  1. ‘What are emerging SIA themes/priorities?’ – the evolution of the industry over the past 10 years, including the rise of the labour and working conditions, human rights, participation, indigenous peoples, resettlement, livelihoods and ecosystem services agendas. 
  2. How can SIAs contribute to projects sharing benefits more widely? – exploring opportunities to go beyond mitigation, through community investment programmes and other more formal benefit sharing mechanisms, with potential linkages to the sustainable development goals in longer term social management targets. 
  3. Preferred ESIA approaches – integrated assessment vs stand-alone social specialisation? Including discussion of the practical realities of integrating social data and analysis in ESIA schedules and activities, and more effective communication between social and other environmental specialisms. 

With representative social specialists from lenders (EBRD), consultants (Mott MacDonald, ERM) and developers (BP) speaking, this event was designed to offer a mixture of industry perspectives. Just as importantly, a key objective of the event was to provide a platform for additional and alternative perspectives and to facilitate and encourage audience participation.  

Exploring the use of digital technology and innovation in international ESIA

How can we bring Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) into the digital age? Hosted by ERM on the 21st May, 2018, a range of stakeholders met to explore how we can take a more holistic approach to EIA, transform deliverables, and develop an efficient approach fit for the 21st Century. The event discussed how we can use data more consistently, how to manage environmental and social risks throughout development, and establishing (and using) digital platforms for this crucial tool.

The IEMA Global Environment and Social Assessment (GESA) Group were be joined by industry leaders for this event, including:

  • Alistair Billington (Technical Director, ERM)- CLICK HERE
  • Shana Westfall (Technical Director, ERM)
  • Polina Pimenova (Principal Environmental Advisor, EBRD)- CLICK HERE
  • Mark Cleverley, Head of Public Sector Business at Ecometrica- CLICK HERE
  • Paul Ormerod, Director at Lime Tools

You can view the programme here 

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