The Art & Science of Environmental Assessment
DATE: October 16th – 18th, 2017
LOCATION: Bay Adelaide Centre, East Tower 22, 22 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
There is nothing more satisfying than a well-executed environmental assessment process for a particular undertaking that leaves all participants relatively happy with the outcome. Today, this seems to be more the exception than the rule given the increasing complexity of some projects, environmental assessment processes and the politicization of science. But it does not have to be this way.
While the federal government is in the midst of reviewing its environmental assessment legislation and process and Ontario considers whether to begin its own review, there are many things that environmental assessment practitioners can do to improve the environmental assessment process, build positive relationships, submit better environmental assessment documents that meet both the public and regulator expectations and obtain better outcomes for both the environment and participants in the process.
A strong scientific basis, with rigorous, verifiable and objective information, is critical for environmental assessment. What are the best practices for this strong scientific basis today? Environmental assessment does not stop at science. Local, regional, national and global context is also critical for environmental assessment. The art of inclusion, participation, transparency and flexibility is ever evolving. What are the best practices in artfully integrating context into environmental assessment decision-making?