GESA springs to life

On the 25 May, there was a formal launch of the new Specialist Network for Global Environment and Social Assessment practitioners: GESA. Organised by the GESA National Steering Group, and hosted at WSP’s offices in Chancery Lane, London, the session marked the first seminar in this exciting technical area.

The session was well attended, with a full house of guests including members from consultancy, project developers and investors. The session was facilitated by Josh Fothergill, while Debbie Cousins of the EBRD, the chair of GESA, made the initial address. This was followed by a panel of guest speakers, including Hannah Mills from Mott Macdonald, Rob Adamczyk and Rachelle Marburg from the EBRD, Max Griffin from UK Export Finance, Alastair Billington from ERM, Neal Barker from WSP and Ben Cave from BCA. 

The speakers covered a wide variety of topics, from human rights, biodiversity and health appraisal, land acquisition and resettlement best practice, through to a funder’s perspective on international environment and social management, alongside case studies on GESA in practice. The audience were engaged, providing insight into GESA in practice and the key expectations on areas of future focus.

Delegates were asked about their perceptions of challenges and opportunities in the area, and suggestions for the focus of the GESA network. Key theme areas included commentary about the ESIA process, post-investment environmental and social monitoring. GESA welcomes experienced practitioners to support professional development to the next generation through a programme of activities – do get involved!

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