Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a process to ensure that significant environmental effects arising from policies, plans and programmes are identified, assessed, mitigated, communicated to decision-makers, monitored and that opportunities for public involvement are provided.
SEA has become an important instrument helping to achieve sustainable development in public planning and policy making. The importance of SEA is widely recognised.
Particular benefits of SEA include:
- Supporting sustainable development;
- Improving the evidence base for strategic decisions;
- Facilitating and responding to consultation with stakeholders;
- Streamlining other processes such as Environmental Impact Assessments of individual development projects.
In the UK, the ODPM has incorporated SEA into a wider Sustainability Appraisal (SA) to help promote sustainable development through the integration of social, environmental and economic considerations into the preparation of Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Developments Documents.
TEC have had a wide range of experience in conducting SEA and SA, and have provided expert advice and training to local authorities and private developers on all aspects of strategic assessment.