Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has been officially introduced in the European Union by the Directive 2001/42/EC (Directive) as a decision support system to ensure environmental and sustainable policies in plan and program making. According to the Directive, SEA should be integrated in and inform planning processes from the early stages, in order to obtain an effective consideration of the environmental concerns. European member states have acknowledged the SEA Directive at different stages through diverse legislative acts. This rather new legislative scenario and the correct application of SEA is still limited and needs to be steered through the dissemination of proper documents, beyond the usual emulation of best practices. In this vein, administrative bodies in charge of SEA management have issued guidelines and manuals in order to address the major difficulties that hinder SEA implementation in the day-to-day practice. This study proposes a methodology that assists responsible agencies and professionals in the design of SEA guidance documents. The proposed methodology uses a comparative approach which builds on the key elements of those documents. We have applied our methodology at European national level and evaluated principles, contents, and effectiveness of those guidelines. Our work is intended to support government agencies as well as practitioners in the design and update of SEA guidelines in a variety of cases, as the general principles that we outline can be applied to any program and plan subject to SEA.

Overcoming implementation barriers: A method for designing Strategic Environmental Assessment guidelines

LEDDA, ANTONIO;
2016

Abstract

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has been officially introduced in the European Union by the Directive 2001/42/EC (Directive) as a decision support system to ensure environmental and sustainable policies in plan and program making. According to the Directive, SEA should be integrated in and inform planning processes from the early stages, in order to obtain an effective consideration of the environmental concerns. European member states have acknowledged the SEA Directive at different stages through diverse legislative acts. This rather new legislative scenario and the correct application of SEA is still limited and needs to be steered through the dissemination of proper documents, beyond the usual emulation of best practices. In this vein, administrative bodies in charge of SEA management have issued guidelines and manuals in order to address the major difficulties that hinder SEA implementation in the day-to-day practice. This study proposes a methodology that assists responsible agencies and professionals in the design of SEA guidance documents. The proposed methodology uses a comparative approach which builds on the key elements of those documents. We have applied our methodology at European national level and evaluated principles, contents, and effectiveness of those guidelines. Our work is intended to support government agencies as well as practitioners in the design and update of SEA guidelines in a variety of cases, as the general principles that we outline can be applied to any program and plan subject to SEA.
SEA guidelines; Guidance documents design; Comparative analysis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/182155
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