Land use, ecosystem and environmental assessment services
AUDITERRA does environmental assessments of projects (Environmental and Social Impact Assessments [ESIAs]). Our team of consultants and contributors supports clients in defining, anticipating and assessing the biophysical and social impacts of their infrastructure or development projects prior to implementation.
ESIAs are relevant for multiple types of projects or development in transportation (roads, bridges), as well as for harbours (infrastructure repair, dredging), mining and energy (power lines and poles), whether the projects are located in aquatic, terrestrial, urban, agricultural or forest environments.
AUDITERRA works to obtain government approvals and to provide support for authorization and permit applications. The firm conducts ESIAs in accordance with existing legislation: the Environment Quality Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the World Bank’s “Environmental and Social Framework” for investment projects for some projects in West Africa.
AUDITERRA’s multidisciplinary team of experts identifies the potential environmental consequences of a project and proposes optimal measures to mitigate or compensate for negative impacts, following the steps of an impact study:
- Characterization and description of the biophysical and human receiving environment through field inventories
- Project variation proposals based on identified sensitive environments
- Impact assessment based on regulatory requirements and best practices
- Recommendation of mitigation and compensation measures for negative environmental effects
- Social acceptability analysis
- Development of environmental monitoring and follow-up programs
Finally, AUDITERRA conducts Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) for governmental organizations. An SEA fully and systematically assesses the effects of a government plan, program or policy, and proposes alternative solutions. It aims to integrate environmental considerations upstream of decision-making.
Land use and regional planning ensure the land and territories are developed in a way that respects the balance between the social, environmental and economic variables in a living environment. Analyzing population needs, environmental conditions, the regional economic situation and living environments allows a land’s uses, and its natural and social resources, to be located and planned with an eye to sustainability.
At the very core of land use and regional planning is finding development possibilities, improving living environments, protecting the environment, encouraging sustainable transportation and remedying inequalities between regions, towns/cities, neighbourhoods, peri-urban areas and rural areas.
For AUDITERRA, adopting a planning outlook requires understanding and analyzing a territory’s biophysical and human components, its spatial dynamics and its planning problems and opportunities, all while taking into account the territory’s population.
At AUDITERRA, we always address land use and regional planning as a multidisciplinary issue. Here are the services we offer:
Support for political and socioeconomic decision makers in defining their communities’ strategic development visions
Land use development plans and urban planning studies
Regional economic development studies
Agricultural development plans for RCMs
Surveying and mapping of natural hazard zones in RCMs
Analysis and processing of socioeconomic and biophysical data related to demographics, urban sprawl, transportation, forestry, agriculture, risk-prone areas, etc.
Regional-park development planning
Geomatics spatial analysis and photo-interpretation
Geomorphological characterization of natural hazard zones
limate change adaptation recommendations or strategies
Mapping of flood and landslide risk zones
Biogeographical and ecological survey
Sustainable development auditing and strategic planning services
Sustainable development auditing and strategic planning services consist of:
Performance audits and organizational diagnostics
Identifying organizational strategies, goals and indicators
Drafting sustainable development policies and action plans
Supporting an organization’s internal audit function
Developing methodology for internal audit and performance audit
Analysis, mapping and integrated management of organizational risks
Verification of environmental practices, data and liabilities
Evaluating sustainable development programs
AUDITERRA can support its clients in creating strategic plans or auditing and optimizing their activities, programs and policies, all of which results in:
Better risk mitigation and reduction measures
Improved financial, social and environmental performance
Better integration of environmental, social and economic dimensions
Increased oversight and better governance of roles and responsibilities
Compliance with laws and regulations
Greater efficacy of plans, programs and policies.
What is a sustainable development performance audit?
A performance audit examines the activities, plans and programs of a government agency or private company in relation to established criteria in order to answer the following questions:
- Does the agency or company have the means in place to measure the effectiveness of and to manage its sustainable development activities, operations or programs?
- Are the activities, operations or programs being run with due regard for economy, efficiency and the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development?
- How can the company or agency make improvements with regard to sustainable development?
In other words, it is a systematic, objective and independent assessment of how well an organization is managing and optimizing its responsibilities, activities and resources when it comes to the environmental, social and economic dimensions.
Performance audits contribute to governmental and corporate efficiency and performance, and help organizations to improve while ensuring accountability to governing bodies, shareholders, boards of directors, elected officials and the public.
What does sustainable development mean for auditing and strategic planning ?
Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Achieving sustainable development requires striking a balance between three basic, mutually dependant and essential elements: sustainable economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.
Many organizations and companies have created accountability frameworks that promote sustainable development in support of their projects, plans, programs and activities. These frameworks largely draw from the UN’s “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and its 17 goals, which show the way forward to a better future.
For a government agency or company, sustainable development means promoting sustainable economic growth, encouraging fair regional and social development, protecting the environment and ensuring integrated natural resource management.
AUDITERRA carries out performance audits strategic plans so that organizations’ activities, operations and programs are optimized and efficiently managed while still considering the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.
Source: UN, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – The 17 sustainable development goals