This document contains the abstracts of papers and posters presented at IAIA’04, the 24th Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment.
Abstracts received by the International Headquarters and with the presenting author registered by 29 February are included. Abstracts are included in the approximate order in which they were received, and/or authors’ registrations were received, and/or changes or corrections were received. Key word and author indices are included at the end of this volume.
Abstracts may be minimally edited for consistency of style, punctuation and grammer. Length in excess of 300 words was subject to deletion. Text, contact information, and key words are otherwise reproduced as provided by the author(s).
APPLYING STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT TO LAND USE AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANS IN SCOTLAND AND NEW ZEALAND: A COMPARISON OF APPROACHES
The paper examines current and proposed strategic environmental assessment systems within two planning regimes with very similar origins: one operating in a unitary state (New Zealand) that undertook radical changes in resource management at the start of the 1990s; the other (Scotland) striving to accommodate new European, British and Scottish priorities for resource management following legislative devolution and direct adoption of the statutory obligations of European Union (EU) Directives. Various models for transposing strategic environmental assessment (SEA) into planning frameworks are posited, using the Glasson-Gosling taxonomy. The New Zealand Resource Management Act (RMA) can be viewed as incremental; the Scottish application of sustainability appraisal (SA) regarded as concurrent; whereas the application of SEA to Scottish EU Structural Funds regional programmes is clearly stapled. The paper draws on practical experience of operating SEA procedures under each regime to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of these alternative approaches, viewed from the perspectives of the planner, the public and the developer. It then evaluates the implications of recent changes to New Zealand’s RMA, and modifications to SA in Scotland, the latter to implement the EU SEA Directive. The extent to which statutory emphasis on assessment of environmental effects may weaken efforts to deliver holistic SEA that embraces socio-economic factors is considered. The arguments for and against applying a parallel SEA evaluation process to strategic land use and resource management plans are examined, in the light of alternative arguments for the principles of sustainable development to be fully embodied in the planning processes used for creating spatial development frameworks. The case is made for better integration of SEA into the planning process, to facilitate effective operational of spatial planning principles and to enhance transparency for business and the public.
Key words: strategic environmental assessment, sustainable development, land use planning, resource management, Scotland, New Zealand IMPACT ASSESSMENT FROM A FIRST NATIONS PERSPECTIVE: REVIEW OF A PROPOSED LNG FACILITY Wilkins, Susan
A Vancouver-based firm proposed to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas facility on the Sunshine Coast, BC. The project was large enough to trigger a federal-provincial environmental assessment, under the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act (BCEAA) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The project location is within the traditional territory of the Squamish Nation (SN), and the SN was represented on the joint Project Review Committee.
Pottinger Gaherty Environmental Consultants Ltd (PGL), a Vancouver-based environmental consulting firm, was retained by the SN to conduct an independent review of the proponent=s impact assessment reports, on their behalf. The SN interests could have been represented with a submission prepared by consultants from their technical perspective. However, a technique was developed which briefed SN representatives, and allowed their First Nations viewpoint to be used in the actual assessment of impacts and mitigation measures.
PGL prepared a briefing package for the SN, which summarized the available baseline information by Valued Ecosystem Component (VEC) from the proponent reports. A simplified impact assessment methodology, based on the CEAA guide, was prepared. The proponent's assessment of significance of impacts was deliberately not included in the briefing package.
The results of the workshop were interesting and in some cases unexpected. Some VECs were found to have impacts not considered significant by the SN, while others were considered to be mitigable. There were a also a number of VECs where the impacts were judged to be significant, and the SN could not readily identify mitigation measures. PGL=s final report to the regulators recommended that the latter group of VECs required further discussions between the proponent and SN.
The lesson from this case study is that a melding of technical expertise in impact assessment combined with First Nations traditional knowledge can produce powerful and meaningful results.
Key words: impact assessment methodology; First Nations perspective, LNG facility
COMPLIANCE WITH FISHERIES ACT SECTION 35(2) AUTHORISATIONS: A FIELD AUDIT OF HABITAT COMPENSATION PROJECTS IN CANADA
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Suite 200 - 401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 3S4 Canada
+1 604 666 7918 Fax: +1 604 666 0292
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
+1 604 666 3512 Fax: +1 604 666 0292
Loss of fish habitat in North America has occurred at an unprecedented rate through the last century. In response, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) enacted the habitat provisions of the Fisheries Act. A Aharmful alteration, disruption, or destruction to fish habitat@ (HADD) cannot occur unless authorised with legally binding compensatory habitat to off-set the HADD. Canada=s conservation goal is no net loss of the productive capacity of fish habitats (NNL). DFO=s performance in achieving its conservation policies has never been evaluated on a national scale. We investigated 52 habitat compensation projects across Canada to determine biological, physical, and chemical compliance with authorisation specifications. Biological requirements had the lowest compliance (58%) and chemical requirements the highest (100%). Approximately 86% of authorisations had larger HADD and/or smaller compensation areas than authorised. These were not small differences. On average, HADDs in riverine habitat were 389% larger than authorised. Consequently, 45% of in-channel compensation projects and 72% of riparian projects resulted in net losses in habitat area. Potential Fisheries Act violations were prevalent at 50% of the projects. Multiple regression analyses indicated violations were negatively associated with the occurrence of a DFO field inspection, providing empirical support for increased monitoring. Habitat compensation, as currently implemented in Canada, is at best slowing the rate of habitat loss. Increasing the amount of authorised compensatory habitat in the absence of institutional changes will not reverse this trend. Improvements in monitoring and enforcement are necessary to move towards achieving Canada=s conservation goals.
Key words: compliance, habitat compensation, no net loss, field audit, Fisheries Act, policy