ارزیابی زیست محیطی استراتژیک برای توسعه پایدار : بررسی یک دهه از تحقیقات دانشگاهی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5719||2012||7 صفحه PDF||19 صفحه WORD|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Available online 24 November 2012
This paper examines the strategic environmental assessment (SEA)–sustainability relationship over the past decade, from 2000 to 2010, focusing in particular on the incorporation of sustainability in SEA. A total of 86 papers from the academic literature containing the terms ‘sustainability’ or ‘sustainable development’ and ‘strategic environmental assessment’ were identified and reviewed. Several common themes emerged by which SEA can support sustainability, including providing a framework to support decision making for sustainability; setting sustainability objectives, ensuring the consideration of ‘more sustainable’ alternatives, and integrating sustainability criteria in PPP development; and promoting sustainability outcomes through tiering and institutional learning. At the same time, our review identified many underlying barriers that challenge SEA for sustainability, including the variable interpretations of the scope of sustainability in SEA; the limited use of assessment criteria directly linked to sustainability objectives; and challenges for decision-makers in operationalizing sustainability in SEA and adapting PPP development decision-making processes to include sustainability issues. To advance SEA for sustainability there is a need to better define the scope of sustainability in SEA; clarify how to operationalize the different approaches to sustainability in SEA, as opposed to simply describing those approaches; provide guidance on how to operationalize broad sustainability goals through assessment criteria in SEA; and understand better how to facilitate institutional learning regarding sustainability through SEA application.
Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is argued to provide a sound basis for informed decision making toward sustainability (see Partidario and Clark, 2000 and Tetlow and Hanusch, 2012). Presumably, SEA helps ensure that policies, plans and programs (PPPs) are developed in a more environmentally sensitive way; that environmental impacts are taken into account early in PPP decision making; and that individual projects are implemented in a broader sustainability framework (Morrison-Saunders and Therivel, 2006, Noble and Harriman-Gunn, 2009 and Therivel, 2010). This is consistent with various international policies and directives that support SEA. In Canada, for example, SEA is formalized under a Cabinet directive to ensure, among other things, that environmental considerations are fully integrated into the analysis of PPPs in order to “make informed decisions in support of sustainable development” (Privy Council Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, 2004). The European SEA Directive also identifies SEA as contributing “…to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programs with a view to promoting sustainable development” (EC, 2001). The academic literature has similarly promoted SEA's sustainability mandate. According to Fischer (2003, p. 162), “the main rationale for applying SEA is to help create a better environment through informed and sustainable decision making.” Arce and Gullón (2000) indicate that sustainability is core to SEA, and both Linacre et al. (2006) and Liou and Yu (2004) argue that SEA adds value to the decision-making process by informing decision makers about the sustainability of strategic actions. In their recent review of the state-of-the-art of SEA, Tetlow and Hanusch (2012, p. 16) describe SEA as having evolved into a “…proactive process of developing sustainable solutions as an integral part of strategic planning activities.” However, notwithstanding the recognized potential for SEA to contribute to sustainability (Bond et al., 2012), there is a plethora of views on how this may be accomplished (see D'Auria and Cinneide, 2009, Liou et al., 2006, Noble, 2002 and Partidario, 2000). There have been several reviews of SEA over the past decade including recent reflections on the state-of-the-art of SEA (see Tetlow and Hanusch, 2012), the need for SEA (see Bina, 2007), and the emergence of sustainability assessment (see Bond et al., 2012). There has been much less critical review of how SEA supports sustainability and the potential tensions between SEA and sustainability. In this paper we examine the SEA–sustainability relationship based on the past decade of academic research on the subject. The purpose of this paper is to identify and critically examine what the academic literature reports as to how SEA, as an assessment tool or process, can or should support sustainability in PPP development, assessment and decision making. Such a review is timely. It follows the 10-year anniversary of the European SEA Directive and precedes the start of what may be a new era in Canadian environmental assessment, marked by increasing demands on SEA to offset regulatory reforms to streamline project environmental impact assessments (see Gibson, 2012). In the sections that follow we first describe our approach to the review, followed by author perspectives on SEA as a means to support sustainability. A number of observations are then ventured concerning the state-of-the-art of SEA for sustainability and directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper set out to identify and examine what the academic literature reports as to how SEA, as an assessment tool or process, can or should support sustainability in PPP development, assessment and decision making. The ‘value add’ of SEA for sustainability, which many authors believe is the ultimate measure of the effectiveness of SEA ( Noble, 2002, Partidario, 2000 and Therivel, 2010), includes a number of elements, including adding structure and flexibility, allowing for early adoption of sustainability principles and identification of sustainability issues, promoting development and consideration of more sustainable alternatives, delineating and applying impact assessment criteria, allowing for trickle down of sustainability principles and promoting transformational learning regarding sustainability. However, potential is not practice and one might wonder why, with so much potential for SEA, there is not more widespread evidence of it achieving sustainability outcomes. Many barriers still exist that challenge SEA for sustainability including variable interpretations of the scope of sustainability in SEA, the limited adoption of assessment criteria in SEA that are directly linked to broader sustainability principles, and the challenges for decision-makers in adapting PPP development decision-making processes to include sustainability issues. The nature of academic work on the matter may also be stifling progress. Rather than simply adopt and build on current framings of sustainability principles, which, in our view, seem to have contributed only modestly to SEA practice, we argue the need to challenge such framings or, at a minimum, focus on how to better operationalize the principles. Arguably, however, many of these issues are not unique to SEA, and will not be resolved simply by abandoning SEA in support of sustainability assessment or other tools. But, in order to advance SEA for sustainability, there is a need for 1) detailing the nature and scope of sustainability and elucidating the purpose of SEA in a variety of decision-making contexts; 2) describing how to select and operationalize the different approaches to sustainability in SEA frameworks; 3) guiding the adoption of sustainability objectives and the development of assessment criteria linked to sustainability goals; and 4) placing much more attention on how to facilitate institutional learning regarding sustainability through SEA application.