Strategic Environmental Assessment: A Rapidly Evolving Approach
D.B., Sadler B. (1999): Strategic Environmental Assessment: A Rapidly Evolving
Approach. Environmental Planning Issues No.18, International Institute for
Environment and Development, London.
environmental assessment (SEA) has emerged in the last few years as a term
for tools which aim to integrate environmental considerations into proposed
laws, policies, plans and programmes. However, in one form or another, SEA
has been in place for some time.
of legislative and programmatic Environmental Impact Statements has been an
integral element of US practice under the National Environmental Protection
Act (NEPA) 1969. Other SEA-type approaches reflect an extension of Environmental
Impact Assessment Trends (EIA) trends, including area-wide and regional assessments,
and policy-level reviews as part of public inquiries and environmental reviews.
is an evaluative discussion of SEA, in which the authors conclude that SEA
theory is in need of rethinking. Included are the principles of SEA, its benefits
and constraints, an assessment of the scope of SEA and a comparison of SEA
with EIA. The rationale for SEA of policies, plans and programmes are divided
into three main categories, each of which is addressed in the paper: strengthening
project EIA; advancing the sustainability agenda; and addressing cumulative
and large-scale effects. Because most formal provisions for SEA have been
made in industrialised countries, the examples of SEA arrangements detail
the provisions, procedures and responsibilities for Northern countries.