بررسی ارزیابی زیست محیطی استراتژیک در 12 کشور انتخاب شده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5670||2006||42 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 26, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 15–56
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is acknowledged to be an important decision support tool. The increased application of its principles in countries worldwide, the introduction of SEA procedures in planning and decision-making processes of international aid and cooperation organisations, as well as the recent endorsement of two relevant legal documents in the international arena only serve to emphasise the acclaimed significance of the process. In light of the scarcity of literature exploring the practical implementation of SEA, this paper attempts to provide a comparative overview of SEA systems in 12 selected countries from their legal, institutional and procedural perspectives in order to unveil potential implementation pitfalls, obstacles and lessons learnt as well as uncertainties and lack of data for future research, replication and customisation elsewhere or refining of existing systems.
The development and consequent adoption of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) procedures have gained momentum in recent years. Not only have more countries revised their approaches vis-à-vis the integration of environmental assessment at different tiers of the decision-making process, but the international arena has also played a vital role in re-emphasising the importance of SEA through the endorsement of two important legal documents, namely, the European SEA Directive (2001/42/EC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 2003 SEA Protocol. Moreover, international financing institutions and cooperation organisations are introducing more and more their own SEA procedures and requiring beneficiary countries to adopt and potentially mainstream these procedures into their planning and decision-making processes. A quick overview of the SEA concept and its different application models,5 as well as milestone international initiatives are briefly described prior to the comparative evaluation of SEA experience in 12 selected countries, which aims to unveiling potential implementation pitfalls, obstacles and lessons learnt, as well as uncertainties and lack of data for future research, replication and customisation elsewhere or refining of existing systems.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
There are gaps and deficiencies in the literature documenting the practical implementation of SEA including the extent, means and timing of public participation. This also applies to the evaluation of SEA performance and efficiency in influencing strategic decision-making. Moreover, data regarding SEA procedures are insufficient and often incomplete for deducing lessons and capitalising on success stories. Indeed, there is little account and description of the obstacles and pitfalls that have been faced at the national level. Increased research on these issues as well as documentation of good-practice case studies and success stories are imperative as they assist in improving the efficacy of national SEA systems. This is particularly important for developing countries, currently in the process of elaborating or updating their SEA systems, where there is an urgent need for capitalising on international experience due to limited resources and SEA expertise. Based on the preceding discussion and the findings of this paper, the following conclusions may be drawn: ▪ Some countries have established formal legal requirements for SEA (as part of EIA, within other sectoral regulations or exclusively SEA), while others adopted SEA guidance documents. There is no single optimal way to implement SEA; the choice depends on the context, including the legal and regulatory framework, the history and means of legal enforcement, and the current governance approach. ▪ The majority of countries place the burden of conducting SEA on the proponent with various levels of involvement by the competent authority (Authority responsible for environmental issues). One cannot over-emphasise the importance of setting the most appropriate institutional framework. Indeed, the latter will pre-determine the leverage points for SEA input in the planning and decision-making process, the focus of SEA (environment or sustainability), the margin for coordination and consultation as well as the route map for procedural arrangements. Moreover, it also serves for assessing training and capacity building needs for SEA implementation. The institutional choice depends on the historical background of strategic decision-making, such as types of strategic decisions undertaken in the country, organisational structure of the public sector, means of deliberation and decision, and the nature of the planning process per se. ▪ Despite their variability, procedural arrangements possess common milestones: – Screening and scoping. Screening is often defined in legal requirements while scoping, though generic guidelines may be provided, is often case-specific. It is common practice to submit plans and programmes to SEA where EIA procedures and approaches are quite readily applied. However, it is argued that SEA at the policy level requires a different methodological approach than that necessary for lower tier plans and programmes. There is a widespread consensus regarding the lack of a ‘blueprint’ approach to SEA, as the process will need to be tailored to the particularities of individual countries ( Dalal-Clayton and Sadler, 1999, Dalal-Clayton and Sadler, 2003, Partidario, 2000, Partidario, 2003a, Partidario, 2003b and von Seht, 1999). Screening and scoping are important steps for setting the ground for subsequent analyses and discussions. They also serve in preventing idle work and unnecessary delays that might result during decision-making due to the lack or inaccuracy of necessary information or because of social opposition. Hence, it is critical to involve concerned stakeholders at an early stage particularly during scoping. – Coverage of SEA. Most countries require the assessment of the environmental impacts of strategic proposals; others consider also potential socio-economic impacts. The Czech Republic, Denmark, New Zealand and South Africa go further to request the evaluation of health and cultural heritage impacts. The observed variability in the range of impacts considered is a reflection of the national definition of “Environment”; i.e. whether it is perceived only as the bio-physical and chemical surrounding or more thoroughly as anything that affects the natural surrounding of humans as well as the quality and sustainability of their livelihoods including socio-economic considerations (sustainability-led). – SEA document. All the countries in the sample require some form of documentation of SEA findings either via the submission of a separate report or via direct integration in the proposed strategic document. Documentation of SEA results is a crucial step for enhancing accountability through facilitating quality control of the presented information and keeping trace of decision-making criteria. It provides the basis for stakeholder consultation and eventual evaluation of SEA efficiency in influencing strategic decision-making in the country. Furthermore, it constitutes a clear commitment on the behalf of the proponent vis-à-vis proposed mitigation measures. – Consideration of alternatives. Almost all of the studied countries with the exception of the E-test in the Netherlands require the consideration of alternatives. However, few details is provided as to the type or hierarchy of alternatives and the minimum requirements for scenario identification. The consideration of alternatives reflects the ongoing debate and priorities regarding sustainable development and/or environmental sustainability in the country. – Impact mitigation and monitoring. Impact mitigation aims to minimise negative impacts, optimise positive ones and insure the sustainability of the proposed action. The majority of the countries call for impact mitigation. However, it is interesting to note that of the nine countries calling for mitigation, Denmark, the Netherlands SEA system and the UK policy appraisal are the only ones with monitoring requirements. Monitoring serves to ascertain that the adopted strategic action is well implemented and that no unforeseen impacts have ensued. – Public participation. It is an integral component of almost all SEA systems. However, there is a lack of information in the literature with respect to timing, means and methods. – Quality assurance. SEA review is practised by almost all considered SEA systems with the exception of Canada, Denmark and New Zealand. Peer review can be undertaken by an independent committee, a joint ministerial committee or the competent authority. SEA review is a means for controlling the quality of the presented information, which will constitute eventually the basis for decision-making, and pre-determine thereby the suitability, practical feasibility and sustainability of the resulting strategic action. Finally, it is important to keep the main reasons behind developing an SEA system in perspective during the elaboration, review and evaluation of the process, namely: ▪ Early consideration of potential impacts (Precautionary and Preventive Action Principles), including cumulative and synergistic impacts that are often difficult to identify at low tiers/project level; ▪ Better consideration of alternatives; ▪ Enhancing the accountability and the efficiency of strategic decision-making (clear and verifiable procedures/independent review); ▪ Stakeholder involvement for more transparency and better governance. The main challenges remain, however, the identification of the appropriate leverage points in the planning and decision-making process for SEA input, the integration of SEA findings into decision-making, and public participation at higher levels of public decisions.