Welcome and Introduction to IAIA’04
I am very pleased to welcome you to IAIA'04 here in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. If
this is your first experience of an IAIA annual meeting, we can promise you a stimulating
and informative time. If you are an "old hand," then I need hardly remind you of
the opportunities the meeting presents for networking and for keeping abreast of
new thinking, new approaches, and stimulating examples of good practice across the
wide field of impact assessment.
The theme this year is very important: if impact assessment is to be effective in
helping society to move closer to the goal of sustainable development, business
needs to be viewed as a partner in the process, alongside communities and individuals,
interest groups and statutory agencies. True to the spirit of IAIA, this is best
achieved by openly sharing views, ideas and experiences, so at this meeting we are
wanting plenty of communication between all participants! The organisers have done
a magnificent job attracting so many people and developing a first rate programme
around the central theme of business and impact assessment: let’s do justice to
their efforts. You may find it useful to look at the suggestions in the programme
for navigating your way through the next few days to get the most out of the meeting.
If you are new to IAIA and want to know more about us, come to one of our introductory
talks; some of you may also have taken advantage of our new mentoring scheme to
help ease you into the community of impact assessors and guide you through the meeting.
Please feel free to come up and talk to me during the refreshment breaks: I'm always
happy to chat about IAIA and impact assessment, and I'll facilitate your introduction
to other participants if that would help! And if, like me, you are making your first
trip to this beautiful city, be sure to make some time for looking around. Have
a rewarding meeting and a very enjoyable stay.