Ecological Impact Assessment - Towards the development of EcIA Guidelines for Australia and New Zealand

EIANZ Ecology has produced a discussion document "Ecological Impact Assessment - Towards the development of EcIA Guidelines for Australia and New Zealand" with forewords by Professor Mark Burgman and Dr Chris McGrath (Download PDF, 680kB) Alternative download.


Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is not in the common or legislative vocabulary of Australia and New Zealand. Whether knowingly or otherwise, ecological practitioners implement EcIA every day and it is not confined to environmental impact assessment (EIA). EcIA is a prominent tool of sustainable development and the profession should align itself with an agreeable, consistent and contemporary approach to EcIA, to facilitate better decision-making. Ultimately, EIANZ Ecology aims to create Ecological Impact Assessment Guidelines for Australia and New Zealand, to support implementation of best practice methods for creating biodiversity outcomes. This requirement has been identified in a number of consultation exercises by EIANZ Ecology and we are now ready to discuss how this should be done. By describing EcIA practice, this document provides a focus for that discussion.

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EcIA and the production of guidelines will be discussed with EIANZ SEQ at the INTECOL conference in Brisbane on Saturday 15th August. Spaces are limited. Bookings are being taken by EIANZ SEQ. Download the brochure.

We will hear about existing international best practice for EcIA and what key issues for EcIA in practice guidelines could hope to solve. Towards the end of the day, we will discuss the design of EcIA Guidelines, including:
  1. Whether guidelines should be generic, legislation-specific (or both);
  2. The size/format of such documentation e.g. whether they should be published, or utilise web technology for production;
  3. Whether a system can be developed that works for land, freshwater and marine ecosystems; and
  4. How we can make this a living, useful document with standing in more than one country and jurisdiction.
The results of INTECOL will be taken forward for the EIANZ conference in Canberra from 20-21st October 2009.

Further reading - copies of references used in production of the above document.
ANZECC (1998) Guidelines for Establishing the National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas. ANZECC Taskforce on Marine Protected Areas. December 1998.
Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (2009) Principles on Biodiversity Offsets.Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP). 2009. The Relationship between Biodiversity Offsets and Impact Assessment: A BBOP Resource Paper. BBOP, Washington, D.C.
Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP). 2009. Biodiversity Offset Design Handbook. BBOP, Washington, D.C.
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (2006) Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment in the United Kingdom.
International Association for Impact Assessment (1999) Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment Best Practice.
International Association for Impact Assessment (2005) Biodiversity in Impact Assessment.
Oxford, M (2001) Developing Naturally. A handbook for incorporating the natural environment into planning and development. Association of Local Government Ecologists.
Treweek, J (1999) Ecological Impact Assessment. Blackwell Science, Oxford.

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