فرصت ها و ریسک های ارزیابی زیست محیطی استراتژیک برای برنامه ریزی و توسعه انرژی دریایی قطب شمال
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5727||2013||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Marine Policy, Volume 39, May 2013, Pages 296–302
Canada's Arctic environment is rich in hydrocarbon resources. As international attention turns to the Arctic to meet global energy demands there is increased recognition of the need to advance upstream impact assessment and decision-making to plan for energy development. There have been several applications of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) over the past decade in the international offshore energy sector; however, SEA remains underdeveloped offshore in comparison to project-based environmental impact assessment and unchartered territory in Canada's Arctic. This paper examines stakeholder perceptions of the opportunities and risks of advancing SEA for offshore energy planning and development in Canada's Beaufort Sea. Results indicate a number of perceived opportunities for SEA, including improved regulatory efficiency, better regional baselines and planning practices, an opportunity to assess cumulative effects, more meaningful project-based assessment, and greater certainty for industry stakeholders. At the same time there are a number of perceived risks, including foregoing anticipated development opportunities, the loss of flexibility in decision making, adding another layer of bureaucracy, and the added uncertainties of a novel approach. The implications of these findings for advancing SEA in the offshore energy sector are discussed.
Environmental issues are defining a new agenda for offshore energy research and development. There is increasing recognition of the need to address the environmental implications of energy development early in the planning process, before irreversible decisions are taken and energy projects become a reality, at the strategic tier of policies and plans ,  and . This higher-order environmental assessment, known as strategic environmental assessment (SEA), has gained considerable momentum in recent years and is now adopted in approximately 60 countries globally . However, research on, and experience with, SEA in the offshore energy sector remains limited in comparison to traditional project-based environmental impact assessment (EIA), and the role of SEA offshore is neither well established nor understood  and . This is the case in Canada's Arctic, where there is no system of SEA offshore for energy planning, exploration and development. Canada's Arctic is rich in hydrocarbon resources and there is a renewed interest in Arctic energy development. Development in the high Arctic Islands and channels may be in the more distant future but plans for energy development in the Beaufort Sea-Mackenzie Delta Basin of Canada's western Arctic are advancing. Between 2008 and 2010, for example, Imperial Oil Ltd., British Petroleum, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil all purchased offshore exploration leases in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, and the federal government continues to sell offshore exploration licenses for Arctic energy exploration. As international attention turns to the Arctic offshore to meet global energy demands, there is increased recognition of the need to advance a more strategic approach to impact assessment and decision-making to plan for offshore energy development prior to making decisions about individual energy project proposals ,  and . However, notwithstanding the contributions of SEA offshore internationally , SEA remains unchartered territory in Canada's Arctic. In Canada's Arctic both industry and government remain skeptical about SEA offshore, noting its unproven benefits . This is disconcerting in that major energy resource development is looming in Canada's western Arctic, and there is a recognized need for an improved environmental assessment process; yet there is little understanding of the perceived benefits or risks of SEA. This paper examines the perceived opportunities and risks of SEA to offshore hydrocarbon exploration and development in Canada's western Arctic. Although focused on Canada's Beaufort Sea, results emerging and the implications for advancing SEA in the offshore hydrocarbon sector are broadly applicable internationally.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Constraints to the current project-based EIA process are widely acknowledged, but SEA remains unchartered territory in Canada's Arctic. This is disconcerting in that Canada's western Arctic is on the threshold of major offshore energy development. This paper set out to examine stakeholder perceptions about SEA risks and opportunities in the offshore hydrocarbon sector, and to identify solutions and challenges to advancing a formalized system of SEA offshore. Current science-based initiatives in the Beaufort Sea do represent a modest step forward, but emphasis is exclusively on the collection of environmental baseline data rather than advancing a strategic planning and assessment framework as requested by the Inuvialuit to support decisions about future development . There has also been a major step backwards in Canadian environmental assessment in general. On July 6, 2012 a new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act came into effect that eliminates most federal government involvement in EIA and significantly reduces the scope of federal assessment . Assessments for small projects, which comprised the majority of all federal assessments, will now be exempt. Federal EIA will apply only to those major undertakings deemed likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on matters of federal concern, and such reviews must be completed within two years . In the absence of SEA, and with a much streamlined EIA system, many of the incremental impacts of development in Canada's western Arctic may go unchecked. As Canada prepares to take the Chair of Arctic Council for 2013–2015, and with non-Arctic nations like China with vested interests in accessing non-renewable resources in the circumpolar North, there is a need and opportunity to advance a more regionally-relevant and strategically-oriented environmental assessment framework to plan for and manage the impacts of Arctic energy development.