Story | 06 May, 2022

IUCN receives IAIA Global Award for its expertise and measures to protect the natural world

The annual prize awards individuals or institutions for their contribution to the practice of impact assessment, management or policy on a global scale. 

Gland, Switzerland, 6 May 2022 (IUCN) - IUCN has been awarded the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA) 2022 Global Award for its diversity and vast expertise on the status of the natural world and the measures to safeguard it. IUCN’s technical work and sustained support for environmental impact assessments were also considered. 

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The 2022 IAIA Awards ceremony was held in Vancouver, Canada.

Photo: IUCN

IUCN President Ms Razan al Mubarak accepted the award on behalf of the organisation via video link, while Rick Bates, CEO of the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Regional Councillor for North America, was present on site to receive it.

In her message, Razan al Mubarak emphasised the importance of impact assessments for nature protection.

“IUCN recognises that impact assessments are a key tool to protect nature. Impact assessments allow us to anticipate and improve, or even avoid or cancel, development projects. Impact assessments, when done well, weave together both nature and culture and help ensure the rights of Indigenous people and local communities are fully integrated into the planning and execution of projects,” she said.

“Impact assessments draw from many of the tools and knowledge products generated by IUCN. The IAIA gives life to these knowledge products by IUCN, and gives them purpose and utility,” Ms Al Mubarak said, adding that together this work “helps us meet today’s needs without compromising opportunities of future generations.”

The annual prize recognises substantial contributions that improve assessment practices, policies and management protocols at a global level, with perceived benefits for nature conservation and project development. The award ceremony will take place during IAIA'22, the association's annual conference, scheduled for 4-7 May, in Vancouver, Canada.

Professor Luis E. Sánchez, Chair of the IAIA's Awards Committee explained the importance of the prize and the recognition to IUCN. 

"This year's IAIA annual global award goes to IUCN in recognition of its long history of support and advocacy for environmental impact assessment and its role as the global authority on the state of the natural environment and the measures needed to protect it for present and future generations,” said Professor Sánchez.

Some of IUCN's technical work on impact assessments will be presented at the conference, with a session dedicated to the inclusion of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in project design and impact assessment, and another one focusing on the experiences of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to achieve nature-positive goals. 

In addition, the IUCN-led Rio Doce Panel will present an impact assessment methodology focused on coastal and marine environments developed to restore the Brazilian Rio Doce watershed, severely damaged in 2015 by millions of cubic meters of mining tailings. 

  • To learn more about the IAIA award, click here.
  • To access the full programme of IAIA Conference, click here

About IAIA

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.