"The need for the Glossary came from impact assessment professionals expressing their frustration at having to work in an environment in which an excess of terms and definitions had proliferated. Putting one's own spin on terms was the practice, causing a great deal of confusion in explaining and interpreting impact assessment to the uninitiated, especially policy and decision makers.
The multilingual Glossary structure is currently in three languages: English, French and Portuguese. We anticipate adding other languages in the future, but this will depend upon interest and financial support. A database has been developed that will facilitate collecting and organizing the terms, definitions and references submitted, which will be a valuable resource for future projects.
To date, the Glossary project has been sustained through the services of many professionals from the Arts and Science Faculty and the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at Concordia University, in Montreal.
The first version of the multilingual Glossary is but a starting point for a broad consultation process of relevant interested parties in the seven topic areas: Practice & Process, Biodiversity/Ecology, Health, Social, Strategic, Trade and Urban Impact Assessment. Currently, there are only a limited number of entries in the English glossary and none in the French and Portuguese glossaries. It was felt that, once the glossary structure was released, the IAIA members, through their sections and linguistic affiliations, would help with its development. Therefore, the Glossary will be continuously updated and revised. All submissions will be verified to ensure that the term, definition and reference is valid, and complies with the information requested.
The aim of the Glossary is to provide the user with a profile of the topic area's terminology. By searching the terms and definitions, the users may familiarize themselves with the vocabulary and its use. If they need further understanding and context, they can refer to the reference.
Can a term appear more than once in a topic area?
Yes, more than one definition of a term can appear in the topic area, as long as it differentiates a narrow or broader description. The purpose here is to provide the user with different perspectives on and interpretations of the use of the term."