IEEM: Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment

The Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) is the professional body that represents and supports ecologists and environmental managers in the UK, Ireland and abroad.

The Institute has published Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment

The Guidelines provide a recommended procedure for the ecological component of Environmental Impact Assessment. They also set standards for the assessment of the ecological impact of projects and plans, so as to improve the consideration of the needs of biodiversity and thereby reduce the impacts of any development. In addition, the Guidelines can be used, for example, to provide environmental information to accompany an application for a consent, to guide a development brief or to inform a management plan.

The Guidelines aim to: 

  • Promote a scientifically rigorous and transparent approach to Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA).
  • Provide a common framework to EcIA in order to promote better communication and closer cooperation between ecologists involved in EcIA.
  • Provide decision-makers with relevant information about the ecological impacts associated with a project, positive and negative.
With the purpose of:
  • Ensuring structured ecological input at all stages of project design and implementation.
  • Obtaining best possible outcomes for biodiversity resulting from changes in land use and developments.
  • Improving the effectiveness of current EcIA practice on five key fronts through:
  • identifying and evaluating ecological features;
  • characterising and quantifying impacts and assessing their significance;
  • minimising negative impacts and maximising positive outcomes through the project design process;
  • identifying legal and policy implications and their consequences for decision-making; and
  • identifying the role of stakeholders in achieving maximum benefits for biodiversity. 

The Guidelines are intended for ecologists, developers, planners, local and national planning authorities, environmental managers, statutory organisations, NGOs or for local groups.