Dac Guidelines and Reference Series Strategic Environmental

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4. 3. Stages and steps for undertaking SEA at the plan and programme level Many countries and agencies have developed SEA guidelines and procedures. So far, these are mainly aimed at strengthening plan and programme development and are based on an adaptation of the steps characteristic for EIA. 2). 2. Basic stages in SEA 1. Establishing the context for the SEA • Screening • Setting objectives • Identifying stakeholders 2. Implementing the SEA • Scoping (in dialogue with stakeholders) • Collecting baseline data • Identifying alternatives • Identifying how to enhance opportunities and mitigate impacts • Quality assurance • Reporting 3.

The first generation of Poverty Reduction Strategies provide an example of this. The usual approach adopted is one of a stand-alone SEA. At the other end of the continuum, the focus is on an integrated assessment of the environmental, social and economic factors, and sometimes even broader factors such as institutions and governance dimensions. This is particularly relevant in developing countries, where environment takes on a meaning beyond the biophysical aspects to those more closely linked with quality of life and growth.

CIA is a developing sub-set of SEA that has evolved as a way to capture these wider implications in project assessment. These implications may change the conclusions of an assessment of an individual project. A project considered to have few or insignificant impacts when considered on its own may, instead, be judged to have potential impacts of great significance when viewed as a part of a more complex set of developments. CIA therefore represents a move up the decision-making hierarchy, albeit to the programme/plan level, not the policy level.

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