The inaugural EIA Quality Mark Forum was held yesterday. Click to find out more.

The inaugural EIA Quality Mark Forum was held yesterday (Tuesday 4th October) in Birmingham and was today declared a "great success" today by IEMA's Environmental Assessment lead Josh Fothergill.

Josh indicated that delegates responded "really positively" to the in-depth EIA discussions the format of the Forum created and they "actively participated in developing useful approaches to handling complex EIA issues such as considering ecosystem services".

The Forum is a exclusive event led by IEMA and open to those organisations registered to the EIA Quality Mark. Over 50 delegates from EIA Quality Mark registrants took part in discussions related to the influence planning reforms may have on EIA, the value of scoping reports in practice and how to effectively discuss iterative design within an Environmental Statement.

The Forum also presented opportunities to help develop tools to improve practice � including initial action to develop a consistent method for capturing and recording the financial savings and environmental enhancements generated by EIA � and to discuss effective EIA processes for major infrastructure projects led by the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

IEMA would like to thank the presenters at the Forum and all those who took part in the interactive sessions and in the lively discussions between delegates during the breaks. The Forum was not simply an opportunity for leading EIA professionals to gather to share experience and debate practice its outputs will also contributed to a number of IEMA actions to improve EIA practice, including:

  • An e-brief on considering ecosystem services in EIA
  • A series of lunchtime EIA webinars
  • A potential tool to value the influence EIA has on design, which we hope to pilot with a number of EIA Quality Mark registrants in 2012

An environmentalist online Blog about the event will be posted in the coming days and will be reported on in the October issue of 'the environmentalist'.