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UNECE wins regional award for impact assessment

Published:11 April 2010

Geneva

On 11 April, UNECE received the 2010 Regional Award from the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). The award was presented at the Association’s annual conference, held in Geneva, with 700 participants from around the globe.

UNECE was selected for this honour because of “its major contributions to the regional development of impact assessment, particularly through its role in the development and implementation of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (also called the Espoo Convention after the Finnish city where it was adopted in 1991) and related Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment”  

The award citation declared that “practice under the Espoo Convention has strengthened application of environmental impact assessment” within countries that are party to the Convention, “as well as protected human health and the environment in countries that otherwise would have been adversely impacted” by development projects. The Espoo Convention requires that member States notify and consult each other on all projects that might have an adverse transboundary environmental impact.

The Secretary to the Espoo Convention, Nick Bonvoisin, accepted the award on behalf of Ján Kubiš, UNECE Executive Secretary. Mr. Bonvoisin emphasized that the Convention has promoted both environmental protection and international cooperation, and it is being applied increasingly frequently and to a higher standard.

Note to editors

The Espoo Convention was adopted and signed in 1991 and came into force in 1997. The Convention now has 44 Parties – 43 States Parties plus the European Union – and has recently had a burst of growth, gaining Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina as members in 2009. The Convention’s Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment requires one more Party for it to enter into force, with this expected later in 2010. The Protocol will ensure that Parties integrate environmental assessment into their plans and programmes at the earliest stages, so helping to lay the groundwork for sustainable development. The Protocol also provides for extensive public participation in the governmental decision-making process.

The IAIA Regional Award is given to an individual or organization that has made a substantial contribution to the field of impact assessment, or has taken a leadership role in promoting good practice in impact assessment, within the region of the location of the conference that year.

IAIA is a forum for advancing innovation, development, and communication of best practice in impact assessment. Its membership in 120 countries promotes development of local and global capacity for the application of environmental, social, health and other forms of assessment in which sound science and full public participation provide a foundation for equitable and sustainable development.

For more information, please visit http://www.unece.org/env/eia or contact:

Mr. Nick Bonvoisin

Environment, Housing and Land Management Division

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Phone: +41 (0) 22 917 1193

Ref: ECE/ENV/10/P12


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