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Understanding Environmental Assessment Today: Cases and Issues
Environmental Assessment (EA) is a process of examining the potential effects of an undertaking, such as a mine, bridge, or even a government policy change. Despite the name, EA typically covers not just potential biophysical effects of an undertaking, but also social, community, economic, health, heritage, or cultural effects.
EA has come to the forefront of the public consciousness with controversial megaprojects such as recent pipeline expansions. This has led to public protest and debate about benefits, adverse effects, and the process itself. As a consequence, many people are interested in learning more about the EA process so that they might understand it better or prepare themselves to participate effectively in it.
This workshop is intended to support this interest. The workshop is geared towards environmental and public policy professionals with at least a basic understanding of the EA process and strives to build greater knowledge, including with respect to current issues in EA.
This one-day, interactive workshop will provide participants with:
- a deeper understanding of the EA process in general and of the key elements of the BC and federal EA processes;
- a grounding in what constitutes good practice in EA;
- the opportunity to explore current issues in EA such as social license, significance and sustainability, benefits, cumulative effects, indigenous influences on the EA process, and upcoming changes to the BC and federal EA laws;
- the opportunity to discuss and explore issues relevant to participants’ interests and concerns.
Overall, participants should expect to leave the workshop with improved EA literacy and a greater ability to participate in EA processes, whether as representatives of their place of work or as individuals.
Chris Joseph, MRM, PhD
Chris is a consultant, researcher, facilitator, and instructor with expertise across the field of environmental management. Much of Chris’ work has been in regards to major project development, particularly the social and economic impacts of mines and pipelines, but Chris has also worked on a wide range of other topics such as cumulative effects, land and marine use plans, industrial GHG emissions, species-at-risk, stakeholder engagement, and organization design. Chris has written guidance for governments, provided expert evidence, and published research in leading academic journals and provided journal peer review. Clients have included Aboriginal groups, governments, industry, and NGOs. Chris holds PhD and masters degrees from the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University and a B.Sc. (Honours with Distinction) in Geography from the University of Victoria. Chris is Principal of Swift Creek Consulting.