The International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) provide guidance, establish principles and, in some cases, define international requirements and specifications. They are designed to improve safety, efficiency and quality in mine action, and to promote a common and consistent approach to the conduct of mine action operations. The IMAS are intended to be the main guide for the development of National Mine Action Standards (NMAS), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and training material in mine action.
The IMAS series is maintained and developed following the same principles of inclusiveness and has continued to evolve over the past seventeen years, ensuring that the standards representing international best practice remain fit for purpose even as operating environments change.
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The United Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is mandated with developing and maintaining the IMAS. Drafting, reviewing and revising the IMAS is conducted by a technical committee with the support of international governmental and non-governmental organisations. This process is managed and coordinated by the GICHD.
The IMAS Review Board oversees the continuous review process for IMAS. The Board consists of individuals from a broad collection of mine action and non-mine action organisations/groups, UN agencies, donors and specialties, who themselves represent a broad cross section of the mine action community and the broader humanitarian sphere. The IMAS Review Board is the highest level at which technical input to IMAS is debated and agreed.
The GICHD manages and updates the IMAS on behalf of UNMAS. Up-to-date IMAS, NMAS and other associated notes and documents are published on the IMAS website.
A Technical Note (TN) is an advisory document designed to accompany or supplement an International Mine Action Standard (IMAS), or act as an independent source of information. Although they use the same format as IMAS for consistency and ease of use, their status is different. They should not be used as an alternative to IMAS but are better used to make technical information or experience available to the user community. TNMA are developed by the GICHD at the request of UNMAS in support of the international mine action community. They are reviewed and revised on an annual basis. Developing a new TN or a major amendment to an existing one is subject to the approval of the IMAS Review Board.
NMAS should be guided by the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS), which provide guidance on minimum requirements and best practices at the international level.