• 25 March 2020

New IEMA Digital Impact Assessment Primer released

The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment’s (IEMA’s) cross-industry Working Group has released a new primer to outline how our industry can embrace digital practices throughout impact assessment processes.

The IEMA Digital Working Group was formed in 2018, with Waterman joining 12 other industry leaders to explore how digital practices and emerging technologies can be incorporated into the development impact assessment process. Together, the Working Group considered the application of these ideas to environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment, along with several other assessment and appraisal methodologies.

The resulting primer defines what Digital Impact Assessment (Digital IA) is, why it is needed, and outlines how digital tools and technology – such as unmanned aerial vehicles, geographic information systems, mobile mapping, virtual reality and remote sensing – could be utilised to provide data for impact assessments. The key opportunities and challenges associated with this, as well as using digital tools for data analysis and communication are also discussed, along with the principles for implementing Digital IA and a consideration of what the next steps will be.

Lara Knapman, Waterman’s Senior Associate Director involved in the IEMA Digital IA Working Group, said; “This primer is an important step in setting out the challenges and opportunities associated with Digital IA, informing our industry and generating wider discussion. Collaborating with other professionals and preparing the Working Group’s primer has been a fascinating experience, especially when considering the potential impact of harnessing innovative technology to support our assessments.”

For more information about Digital Impact Assessment, please contact Lara Knapman.

To read about the IEMA Working Group primer, click here.

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