The field of IA can be related to the assessment of impacts on or of the environment (including, for example, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)), social (SIA), health (HIA), risk (RIA), human rights, etc.). The core aim of IA is to assess and evaluate the impacts of policies, projects, processes and products, to better inform decisions, and facilitate management and mitigation activities, prior to approval. In this manner, IA provides a critical tool for decision makers to make judgements based on sound scientific and legal advice regarding the impacts of a proposed project/plan/policy prior to making a decision on the merits of a proposal. Equal to its role for decision makers, IA is often the process which facilitates the provision of robust environmental and social information to inform and support the involvement of stakeholder and affected communities.
Impact Assessment articles
David Burrows delves into some of the issues with lifecycle assessment – and how brands are misusing results
In May 2022, the UK government published the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, building on the white paper Levelling Up the United Kingdom. Its scope is broad, but the proposals to reform environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) will be of interest to IEMA members.
In March, Defra launched the consultation on its Nature Recovery Green Paper, which set out pro-posals to deliver the 30/30 targets (30% of land and sea to be protected by 2030), protect species and deliver nature recovery.