International Association for Impact Assessment

Washington Area Branch (WAB)

  • For IAIA members in the Washington, DC, USA area.

    Coordinators: Will Knowland and Debra Zanewich

    IAIA members can check out WAB on IAIAConnect

    Check out the latest happenings from the WAB below:

    7 January 2016

    Greetings for 2016!     Back in September 2014, the WAB hosted a session on the Challenges and Solutions of Addressing Environmental and Social Issues in the Wind Power Sector, focused on the IDB’s experience in Latin America and OPIC’s recent experience.  Few topics have stimulated more interest, and we are pleased to announce this follow up session as a start to the new year:

    Challenges and Solutions of Addressing Environmental and Social Issues in the Wind Power Sector – Updates, Experience, and Revised EHS Guidelines

    Wednesday January 13th (3:00-5:00pm)

    Room U12-250, World Bank U Building, 1800 G Street, NW

    RSVP to Will Knowland

    In addition to reviewing recent wind power project assessment experience and the latest in bird and bat monitoring protocols, we will focus on lessons learned and advances in good industry practice, including key changes in the recently updated WBG Wind Energy EHS Guidelines.

    We have a distinguished expert panel of five presenters:

    Genevieve Beaulac is a Senior Environmental Specialist at the Environmental Safeguards Unit of the IDB, responsible for the design, implementation and monitoring of projects in the energy sector (wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and transmission lines. Her September 2014 presentation can be reviewed below.

    Caleb Gordon is an ornithologist and wildlife ecology with WEST, Inc., who has specialized on bird risk and impacts from commercial scale development projects, particularly in the energy sector.  He has managed wildlife research and impact studies for IFIs and private developers on energy projects in Uzbekistan, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua.  Caleb has particular interest in offshore wind-wildlife studies. In this area, he has managed four large research projects for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM, USDOI), has given numerous presentations at scientific, government, and commercial conferences, and has served as wildlife issues subcommittee chair of the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Offshore Wind Workgroup (OWWG).

    Marianela González is an Environmental and Social Compliance Coordinator at Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy. She has over 8 years of experience in environmental and social management working on renewable energy and tourism projects in Latin America. Her recent projects include environmental and social due diligence, coordination of environmental impact assessments, implementation of Integrated Management Systems in ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, assuring compliance with local legislation and IFC’s / MIGA’s Environmental & Social Performance Standards and adopting Good International Industry Practices for wind and solar energy projects in Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Chile.

    Lori Anna Conzo is a Senior Environmental Specialist and Biodiversity Focal Point in the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group.  Lori specializes in the development of mitigation and management strategies for biodiversity-related impacts for large-scale private sector developments worldwide.  As Biodiversity Focal Point, Lori works across the regions and sectors on biodiversity-related issues, with a focus on the infrastructures and renewable energy.  She has been working on IFC financed projects since 2002 and joined IFC’s ESG Department in 2008. 

    Justin Pooley is a Principal Specialist in IFC’s Environment, Social & Governance Department based in Washington DC and the department’s global sector lead for power projects. He has 17 years of experience working on the environmental and social impacts of private sector projects globally, the last 11 of which have been with IFC. Prior to joining IFC Justin worked as an E&S consultant, predominantly on IFC-sponsored projects in various parts of the world, focusing on the extractives and infrastructure sectors. He spent much of his IFC career based in Johannesburg and Istanbul, before returning to Washington in 2013. Justin has worked on wind projects in multiple regions and was one of the core IFC team involved in updating the WBG Wind Energy EHS Guidelines in 2014-15.

    Please note that this will be a full 2 hour session, beginning at 3:00pm.   Also, the event will be held at 1800 G Street NW (which is referred to as the U Building by the World Bank Group) in Room U12-250.   The U Building is just one block “behind” the World Bank’s Main Complex (MC) building.

    Participants will not need to register for a visitor’s pass, but will need to show valid government issued ID (such as a driver’s license) and pass through security, then take the elevator to the 12th floor. 

    7 October 2015

    Assessment of Biodiversity, Critical Habitat, and Ecosystem Services – Recent Experience from Africa and Latin America, with Reference to the IFC Performance Standards

    Raymi Beltran of IFC, and Charles Hernick of The Cadmus Group, jointly presented their recent work in Assessment of Biodiversity, Critical Habitat, and Ecosystem Services – Recent Experience from Africa and Latin America, with Reference to the IFC Performance Standards.

    • IFC's Performance Standard (PS) # 6 has become a benchmark for the investment community on the topic of biodiversity management. The first presentation will walk through some of the fundamentals of PS6 and its interpretation. The session will also go into a review of the key deliverables to reach PS6 compliance and practical examples of how to conduct a Critical Habitat Assessment for private sector projects.
    • PSs 1, 4, and 6 require that impact assessment account for and identify ecosystem services, defined as the benefits people derive from ecosystems. The second session will build on the first by focusing on ecosystem services and the challenges and opportunities associated with ecosystem service analyses in the impact assessment process. A case study from Tanzania will be used to illustrate trade-offs and potential value added, especially in scoping.

    Raymi Beltran is a Senior Environmental Specialists with IFC's Oil, Gas and Mining Group. He has over 15 years of experience in environmental and social management working on oil, gas, mining and infrastructure projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa. As part of his current position, Raymi works closely with private sector companies in assuring compliance with IFC's Environmental & Social Performance Standards and adopting Good International Industry Practices for their projects. Prior to joining IFC, Raymi was the Environmental Manager for Kinross Gold based in Santiago, Chile, and prior to this, he was the Environmental and Community Affairs Manager for the PERU LNG Project in Peru.

    Charles Hernick is a Senior Associate at The Cadmus Group, Inc. He is an expert on USAID environmental safeguards/compliance and tropical forestry and biodiversity assessments. His recent projects include environmental impact assessments and tropical forestry/biodiversity assessments in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. He has managed extensive policy and environmental finance research, and he designed the U.S. policy for mitigating the financial risks associated with the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (i.e., polluter pays principle/financial assurance).

    13 May 2015

    Challenges to Performing ESIA and Implementing Projects in Liberia” – Presentation by Heather Boyd, Acorn International, LLC, and Wassim Hamdan, Earthtime.

    28 January 2015

    Ongoing Developments in Satellite Remote Sensing for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment: focussed on new technology solutions and how they can contribute to impact assessment and monitoring.

    This presentation was given by Gordon Campbell (European Space Agency) and Anna Burzykowska (World Bank)

    Referenced material is found at the following links:

    EO for Green Growth

    WBG-ESA Partnership report



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