Environment and development

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA)


Strategic environmental assessment consists of a range of analytical and participatory approaches that aim to integrate environmental considerations into policies, plans and programmes and evaluate the inter-linkages with economic and social considerations.

As development agencies switch their emphasis from supporting individual projects to providing support for broad policies and strategies, SEAs are becoming more urgent and necessary. But while these assessments are widely considered the best way forward, moving from concept to action and towards results has varied.

Our involvement in the Strategic Environmental Assessment Network has enabled us to produce guidance notes to promote a more harmonised, effective approach to SEA, working alongside key donor and development agencies.  


Key resources:

» Applying Strategic Environmental Assessment: Good Practice Guidance for Development Co-operation

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is one of the main tools available to achieve integration of the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes.  This Guidance volume explains the benefits of using SEA in development co-operation and sets out key steps for its application based on recent experiences.

» Strategic Environmental Assessment in Development Practice: A Review of Recent Experience

The principles of sustainable development play an integral role in making development assistance work at the level of policies, plans and programmes. Many development co-operation agencies and their partners are already making good progress in applying SEA. This publication presents the nine most interesting case studies of SEA in progress.



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