Ecologic co-hosts first members’ meeting of The Integrated Assessment Society (TIAS)


On 1 March 2005, 13 members of The Integrated Assessment Society (TIAS), and 12 observers met in their first members’ meeting. On the occasion of the closing conference of the European Forum for Integrated Environmental Assessments (EFIEA), they discussed how to strengthen outreach activities and expand the new TIAS network.

TIAS is a not-for-profit-entity created to promote the community of inter-disciplinary and disciplinary scientists, analysts and practitioners who develop and use integrated assessment. The goals of the society are to nurture this community, to promote the development of Integrated Assessment and to encourage its wise application.

Integrated Assessment (IA) can be defined as the scientific "meta-discipline" that integrates knowledge about a problem domain and makes it available for societal learning and decision-making processes. Public policy issues involving long-range and long-term environmental management are where the roots of IA can be found.

However, today, IA is used to frame, study and solve issues at other scales. IA has been developed for acid rain, climate change, land degradation, water and air quality management, forest and fisheries management and public health. The field of IA engages stakeholders and scientists, often drawing these from many disciplines.

The Integrated Assessment Journal (IAJ) serves as the official journal of TIAS. The journal has now become an online publication and is available free of charge to all subscribers. The focus of the journal is on methodological issues bridging various fields of application. In addition to articles, the journal includes a section called "Policy Spotlight" in which policy-makers provide their views on policy challenges, a discussion forum for critical exchange on latest developments, a regular book review, and a downloadable annotated bibliography.

The first TIAS members’ meeting concluded that one of the best means of increasing TIAS' profile is for the Society to be 'present' at relevant events and conferences. TIAS posters, brochures and slides will be made available to members for conference booths and sessions. Slides will be downloadable from the website. TIAS will look for ways to link with the four global assessments to be published in 2007, and will actively pursue links with the policy community (especially policy advisors) and relevant professional associations and societies. In addition, more attention will be given to encouraging non-European involvement especially from developing countries. Through a revised brochure, the Society will demonstrate how we can support the work of these various groups.

Another important activity for TIAS is training and education. In addition to developing education materials, organising summer schools and training courses for young researchers, the Society will also help to link practitioners with training courses and materials tailored to those in the policy sector. The latter was identified as a strong need both in the meeting and in the conference discussions. In this context, the Society will also try to link with the UNESCO decade for education in Sustainable Development.

The next official meeting of the Society will be held in 2007.

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