Impact Assessment in the restoration of the Rio Doce watershed: tools, analysis and lessons learned presented at IAIA 21
The Rio Doce Panel and the Renova Foundation presented impact assessment practices and tools applied to restoring the Rio Doce watershed at the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Annual Conference, held virtually this year.
June 2021 - From May 18-21, experts from around the world gathered at a virtual conference to discuss and reassess the contribution of impact assessment tools to better anticipate and prepare societies for challenges related to environmental and health issues that may adversely affect humanity's present and future. The International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA) 2021 Conference - Smartening Impact Assessment in Challenging Times - focused on re-evaluating existing processes to apply new techniques and tools for managing and assessing available data, information and knowledge. The experiences also showed how these practices could strengthen and improve action planning and decision-making processes in different contexts.
The Rio Doce Panel (RDP) work and the application of impact assessment tools in the recovery of watershed were held in the session Disaster, conflict and crisis: are the impacts being identified? Led by the impact assessment expert, Rio Doce Panel member and Professor at the University of São Paulo, Luis Sánchez and Stephen Edwards, Senior Program Manager at IUCN and coordinator of RDP, the presentation focused on the technical document and recommendations outlined in the Issue Paper A framework for assessing environmental and social impacts of disasters: Ensuring effective mitigation after the Fundão Dam failure.
Professor Sánchez demonstrated how the systematic framework proposed could facilitate data collection and analysis and how the tool supports critical analysis of the information related to the Fundão Dam collapse. He also explained that it could help to identify potential threats to ongoing recovery efforts and anticipate measures or changes to additional restoration actions needed.
In the same session, the Renova Foundation presented other initiatives that applied impact assessment tools to repair the Rio Doce. One of the presentations showed how the tools helped analyse water quality for irrigation purposes. The Renova Foundation's Impact Curatorship presented one paper about lessons learned from the impact assessment work and also the results of ex-post impact assessment, that is the evaluation designed to identify and measure the consequences resulting from a program or project’s earlier interventions.
See below the Rio Doce Panel and the Renova Foundation presentations at the IAIA Conference:
RDP at IAIA'21 - A framework for assessing the social and environmental impacts of disasters
The presentations provided by the Renova Foundation are available at:
- Ex-post Impact Assessment to follow-up post-disaster mitigation strategies: https://youtu.be/ZFpF3E5202w
- Irrigation and water quality of the Rio Doce after the Fundão dam failure: https://youtu.be/GCdTPiRZb5g
IAIA, an IUCN Member organisation, is the leading global network on best practice in the use of impact assessment, a staple tool for the mining industry and development projects in general. One of the work streams is the sharpening of experiences from developing countries to help improve processes and adopt best practices in the monitoring of large developments in the sector.