IEMA is delighted to announce that the Impact Assessment Network Volunteers have been given the honour of the IAIA 2024 Award for Regional Contribution.

The award recognizes IEMA’s Impact Assessment Network's unwavering dedication to advancing the field of impact assessment. Through their exceptional leadership, commitment to best practices, and continuous contributions, they have significantly elevated the discourse surrounding impact assessment within the general world region of the 2024 IAIA Conference location, Dublin, Ireland.

Whilst IEMA itself is a large professional body representing over 20,000 environment and sustainability professionals, within this larger body is a smaller dedicated cadre of impact assessment professionals who have been producing impact assessment guidance since 1993.

The IA volunteer structure is based on an IA Steering Committee and IA Network Chair made up of 15 IEMA members who are elected for 3-year terms. Supporting the Steering Committee is a series of volunteer working groups on specific technical issues and topics. These working groups are comprised of IEMA volunteer members and invited non-IEMA experts drawn from across academia, government and industry.

The IEMA IA volunteer network produces a substantial output, the majority of which is free to both IEMA and non-IEMA members, including the IA webinar series and the IA Outlook Journal.

Beyond the IA Outlook Journal and IA webinar series, the IA network produces advice notes and formal guidance documents on IA which are considered best practice in the UK (and used by members in the Republic of Ireland) and are also valued by practitioners in the wider region, often inspiring members in other countries to establish their own guidelines based on the IEMA guides.

The IA guidance documents are highly regarded in the UK and are used in all major EIA projects. The planning profession, national regulators and courts all consider the IEMA IA guidance to be the recognised good industry practice. A recent supreme court case cited the IEMA IA guidance on GHGs for example as the expert resource on this matter and other countries have adopted the IEMA guidance in their practice. Recent examples include the use of the Climate Adaptation and Resilience guidance in Jordan and Iceland. IEMA’s digital impact assessment publications have also fed into initiatives being led in Denmark and Nigeria feeding into their own developments in digital IA.

In addition to the output of guidance, journals and webinars, over the past three years, the UK government has been seeking to reform, and potentially weaken, IA legislation in the UK, and IEMA’s IA network has responded to multiple government consultations on behalf of the IA profession providing advice, commenting on proposals, providing evidence-based recommendations and challenging any reduction in the quality and rigour of impact assessment.

Taken together, the IA network has published over 50 IA-related guides or publications over the past 30 years. With the conference being hosted in Ireland, and IEMA's members being primarily drawn from across the UK and Ireland, with members present in over 40 countries in total, IEMA's volunteer impact assessment community is worthy of recognition by their international peers for demonstrating such a sustained and prolific commitment to promoting IA good practice in the region.

A huge thank you to all our volunteers who have made IEMA’s Impact Assessment Network an internationally recognized and award-winning network!

Find out more about the IAIA Awards here.

Photo of Rufus howard
Rufus Howard

Policy and Engagement Lead at IEMA, IEMA

Dr Howard is the policy and engagement lead for Impact Assessment at IEMA and a leading professional in EIA, with two decades of international experience across renewable energy and major infrastructure.


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