Strategic Environmental Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is a systematic decision support process, aiming to ensure that environmental and possibly other sustainability aspects are considered effectively in policy, plan and programme making. In this context, following Fischer (2007) SEA may be seen as:

  • a structured, rigorous, participative, open and transparent environmental impact assessment (EIA) based process, applied particularly to plans and programmes, prepared by public planning authorities and at times private bodies,
  • a participative, open and transparent,possibly non-EIA-based process, applied in a more flexible manner to policies, prepared by public planning authorities and at times private bodies, or
  • a flexible non-EIA based process,applied to legislative proposals and other policies, plans and programmes in political/cabinet decision-making.

Effective SEA works within a structured and tiered decision framework,aiming to support more effective and efficient decision-making for sustainable development and improved governance by providing for a substantive focus regarding questions, issues and alternatives to be considered in policy, plan and programme(PPP) making.

SEA is an evidence-based instrument, aiming to add scientific rigour to PPP making, by using suitable assessment methods and techniques. Ahmed and Sanchez Triana (2008) developed an approach to the design and implementation of public policies that follows a continuous process rather than as a discrete intervention.discrete

Read more about Strategic Environmental Assessment:  History, Relationship With Environmental Impact Assessment, Aims and Structure of SEA, SEA in The European Union

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